Parents, especially new ones, make mistakes unknowingly when it comes to disciplining their children. While you might not be abusing your kid in the name of discipline, incorrect discipline is harmful to their growth and self-esteem.
Discipline to correct a bad behavior and not to create feelings of fear or anger. With that said, here are mistakes parents make when it comes to laying the law with their kids.
Yelling or screaming
This will in no way help the situation and will only scare your child. Despite the mistake, calm down and correct the mistake.
Your child is not an adult and giving them a long explanation about why they can’t do something doesn’t correct their behavior. Keep your explanations short and to the point by having simple explanations which both of you can understand what was wrong and move on.
While it may not sound very serious, one huge mistake parents make a lot is bribing their child. Making promises of buying this or that if they stop crying or misbehaving is not solving any problems. Your child needs to respect you for the decisions you make and shouldn’t get some reward for being obedient. You have no business getting into an emotional agreement with a toddler.
Not following through
If you tell your children you’re going to take something away as a form of punishment but then don’t, what does your child learn? That mummy and daddy can be manipulated. When your child learns that you don’t follow through with your word they test your limits more and more knowing that you will not punish them.
Let’s say that your child’s room is a mess and you tell them to clean it up and keep it clean but then two days later it turns back into a pigsty. Not saying a word is a huge mistake. Inconsistency will make the child confused and unsure of your expectations, leaving more room to make mistakes. It might be annoying to constantly remind your little one how to behave but that is how they learn. Practice makes perfect.
The 3-2-1 countdown or ‘before I open my eyes’ statement should feature in no way especially when it comes to obedience. Obedience should never be delayed. Children should learn to be obedient when you ask not at the last second.
Punishment for being annoying
Parents sometimes scold and punish their children for simply being kids. This can include asking too many questions, playing loudly or just running around all the time because they are full of energy. That is not wrong. Despite your adult issues, have the patience to explain what may happen for example they may knock something over and give them an alternative outlet which they can express that energy without disturbing or damaging something.
Not listening to your child
If it’s not their jobs taking up much of the time, parents are glued to their phones or TV totally ignoring the young ones. Do not make it a habit to only listen when a mistake is done but regularly set aside time to listen to their thoughts.
Hard truth is, it’s natural and even human to have a favorite. But as you may well know by now, it can be damaging to you and your children if you take it too far. Again, the key here is consistency. Don’t let one child get away with something wrong just because they’re in your favor. This can make your other children resentful if you punish them for the same thing. Also be consistent in your praise. Praising one child for sharing but ignoring the other can also harbor resentment and may result in rebellious behavior.
Disciplining while angry
We understand kids can do the most annoying things but disciplining them while angry is definitely the wrong way to do it. When you rebuke your child while you’re mad, you are more likely to shout or say something you don’t mean. This will hurt the child’s feelings and can create a permanent emotional scar.