This is such a tricky and controversial area of parenting as everyone does it differently and everyone has an opinion of how to discipline their children.
So this post will be my opinion of how I feel I should discipline my children. Take it with a grain of salt. Keep reading or not.
I guess I was lucky before Hayden was born (almost eight years ago!!) as I already had four years worth of study at university and six years experience as an Early Childhood Teacher.
Two main things I have learned along the way are:
1. Children need boundaries.
2. If I say something I must follow through.
Children are human beings. Mini ones. And as such we need to know how far we can go, how far we can push, before enough is enough. I’ve learned that children feel secure and safe knowing where their boundaries lie.
Yes they will constantly argue and fight and try to push them but they need to know where the line is and that there are consequences for crossing that line.
And this brings me to point number two:
Kids are smart. They work you out pretty quickly and learn how to get what they want. Sometimes all they need to do is throw a tantrum so their parents will give in. Sometimes they need to do more than a tantrum, such as hitting their parent, holding their breath, refusing to oblige.
But I’ve learned through my work as a teacher and as a mum, that you need to stick to your guns. This works for me both at home and at work. If you say something then you’d sure as hell better follow through as if you don’t, that child will learn that all they need to do is throw an extra long tantie to get the chocolate at the supermarket. Or not get dressed so they don’t have to go to school.or simply continue whinging and whining until they wear you down and you give in.
For example. Once Noah (our best boundary pusher) was mucking up. I told him that if he misbehaved one more time he would no be able to have his Friday treat of a chocolate. Sure enough he misbehaved again so I had to stick to my word. We went to his grandparents place for dinner but he wasn’t allowed chocolate after dinner like the others.
He was upset but learned that when I say something I mean it. If I gave in and allowed him to have the treat he would see that weakness in me, remember it the next time and push just a little harder to get his own way.
I know other people approach discipline differently but for my hubby and I, tough love reigns. There are boundaries and limits and the kids know where they are. We have loads of fun and laugh and play together. But when we are serious about something the boys know it.