By: Eliza Najar
Which Disciplining Style Suits Your Child Best?
Your children’s rooms are a complete mess even after asking them to clean it for an umpteenth time. Toys are strewn all over the living room and the state of the house is embarrassing even when guests are at home. Your son has left his breakfast bowl on the table again- why can’t he just remember to keep it in the sink? The answer to your question is as simple as this - whether our children are shy, outspoken, mischievous, or stubborn, we try to discipline them by the same yardstick. And, then we wonder why it is going nowhere. As parents, we often forget the fact that no two children are alike. Hence, you cannot use a one size fits all parenting for your children. Research suggests that when parenting style matches the temperament of the child, the risk of anxiety or depression in the child reduces to half. And, every parent wants a happy child and so do you. Check out some common frustrations that parents face and get ideas to discipline your little one without losing your nerves. The super-energetic child Is your little one is a typical cut-up? He is always trying to play pranks on siblings and spoiling the family photographs by sticking up fingers on your head just before the click. To add to your misery, his school teacher gives you a consistent report of his mischiefs. Your immediate reaction would be to yell, spank or get angry but you need to find better ways if you want results. You can take him aside and explain the problem once he calms down. This will help him understand the consequences of his behaviour. As a parent, you can find ways or activities to channelise the energy of your child. Involve him in extracurricular activities which tune him a bit. Also, set clear expectations before you go to a formal gathering. Make sure you do not suppress the fun-loving personality of your child. For instance, if you are going for a serious family photograph, let him know that you will take a few funny ones later. This will help your child hold on for a while, knowing that the fun is yet to begin. The shy child Shy children can misbehave as much as the boisterous ones. But parents usually have a tough time finding ways to discipline them. In fact, they get away many times because the quiet child is often considered to be good when compared to his impulsive sibling. Dealing with a shy kid can be a difficult call for a parent. Parents usually tend to ignore or shield their misbehaviour as they crumble when they are yelled or shouted at. But let that not be a reason for their escape. It is all the more necessary to talk to a shy child because they might learn to use their timidity as an excuse to get away with every problem. Time-out isn't the ideal way to discipline a shy child. Take out time to quietly explain the impact of her misbehaviour. If she needs to apologize to someone, go along and help her do it. Encourage her to find nice ways to break the ice with friends. You can praise them for trying new activities and even a reward or incentive would help them move out of their comfort zone. The aggressive little one Your little one can’t control himself from punching his sibling in matters of disagreement. Or your daughter punched a friend simply because she refused to share her chocolate. Some kids can’t control getting aggressive if they feel frustrated. Your first instinct would be to give an equal and opposite reaction. But remember that kids imitate their parents and reacting, in the same way, will only confirm the validity of the act to the child. Instead, teach the child to empathize by asking him to bring a bandage or an ice-pack for the sibling. Let him take a closer look at the pain caused by him. You can also talk to him once he is calm. Ask him if he would want someone to punch or hit him if he was upset. This will make him realise the impact of his behaviour. Teach them other ways to fight their urge to hit someone. You can ask them to look out of the window and imagine the other kid is a clown or just walk away if they are really angry. You can even ask them to seek help from a parent or a teacher if they run into a problem with a pal. The moody child Your child might throw tantrums, sulk in a corner or resort to whining in order to show anger or frustration in certain situations. This might be extremely annoying for the parents and they are likely to lose their calm in most of the cases. Establish an environment at home which allows the children to express themselves without any fear. When kids learn an effective way to communicate their discontent, they will stop being moody. Also, check if the stress levels are low at home. Children tend to be moody if the surroundings are stressful. Another point to keep in mind is to stop playing the blame game or overreact when kids show such behaviour. You can also give them 10 mins in a day to mentions all their complaints. Once the time is over, ask them to write it down in their journal. This will help to reduce the constant whining as most of the kids wouldn't want to do the work of writing it down. Disciplining a child doesn't mean you push or force him to be something he is not. You should respect the uniqueness of your child and find out ways to tailor your parenting according to your child’s personality. Irrespective of the temperament of your children, the basic idea is to teach them that they are accountable for their behaviour. Establish a secure and loving environment at home where children can share their frustrations or discontent. In this way, they will learn to regulate themselves while still having the freedom to be their natural self.