Discipline in Childhood
Children require freedom to grow and to learn, but they will not
thrive on unlimited freedom. The aim of discipline is to set
reasonable limits which protect children from harm and teach them what
is safe and what is not. If children are to grow up into responsible,
conscientious, and dependable adults, they must learn the social,
moral, and ethical standards that are considered acceptable in our
society. They must also learn to respect the rights and property of
Children brought up without discipline may become selfish, greedy,
dishonest, unpopular, uncooperative and insecure. Undisciplined
children constantly demand attention. They may be inconsiderate or
disrespectful to others. Some are destructive, aggressive, and
accident prone. A child allowed to disobey without punishment is
unlikely to develop much respect for law as he grows older.
Although it is impossible to define rules for discipline that are
appropriate for every situation, some principles are well established.
* Your child needs your LOVE more than anything else.
* You should use discipline to teach your child.
* You should not discipline your child before he or she is old
enough to understand the reason for the punishment.
* You should not punish your child for behavior that is part of
normal development, such as thumb sucking, speech development, or
accidents that occur during toilet training.
* You should not punish your child for anything that is accidental.
* Both parents should be consistent in the application of
* You should explain to your child, in language that he or she can
understand, why the unacceptable behavior must be punished.
* You should not deprive your child of essentials, such as food, as
a form of punishment.
* Do not subject your child to excessive physical punishment.
* You should make as few rules as necessary and make them simple to
* You should be a good role model for your child.
Children who are often in trouble usually suffer from too little
affection, rather than too little punishment. The responsibility for
starting the child in the right way belongs to the parents. Parents
must serve as good examples for their children. Attitudes and
behaviors of the children can be expected to be no better than those
of the parents.
Children learn best from repetition, practice, and example; lecturing
is less effective. The age at which punishment is appropriate depends
on the intelligence and maturity of the child. Punishment, when
required, should be immediate and inevitable. The penalty...