Guest Author - Chinedum Ify Obikili
Different people feel differently on what kind of discipline to adopt when handling their children. Whatever method you chose to adopt, just don’t fall into the trap of making excuses for your kid's bad behavior. More and more parents are getting surprised each day by the behaviors of their children and like every good parent, you wonder where you had gone wrong, or if you are failing in your duties as parents. Here are ideas on how to tactfully mold your child’s behavior for a good turn-out.
Begin on time: The truth as we know it remains that there is a special age every child go through during which h/she gives his or her parents as much headache as possible- the teenage age. I learnt from experience that the smartest way to avoid much damage at this age is not to try to train any child at this age. The reason is simple; the child is gradually proceeding into a young adult and is turn between going after things his way and having to still follow your way. But, when you begin to lay the rules from infancy, by the time he gets to that special age, it will be difficult for him to derail. I'm sure you wonder what the right time is for you to begin. I’ve interacted with parents who said they began while the baby was still in the womb. well, i dont know how they did that,but from my personal experience, I find age One more ideal. Not only are one-year olds very curious, they’ve got a mind of their own as well. My daughter is one-plus, but my husband and I marvel at the things she does. We decided to stop doing certain things in front of her because she literally memorizes everyone's activities with her little mind, reproduces them and checks out stuff for herself. . My girl would climb on the stereo,she picks up the remote and changes channels, she wants to rearrange the DVD plates, she wants to sit on the stabilizer, she wants to climb the table, you just can't seem to get her of electronics. As difficult as it is for me,i derived a new strategy, I'd scold her and put a mean face on to go with it. That usually got her attention Each time she went to a no-go-area, I’d point at the area, mention what shouldn’t be touched and say, ‘’no, no, not good…’’ and when she goes there again, I give her the mean look and say bad. Bad. She soon took to saying ‘no, no, and bad, bad whenever someone else went there. She eventually lost interest in those areas and I got some peace.
Put your mean face on: My girl has learnt to judge from my countenance whether or not I am serious whenever I warn her off something. We stare at each other for a while. She laughs at first, and expects me to laugh back, most times I look at her beautiful face, and want to laugh along, but I quickly remind myself that if I do, she’ll never learn the lesion, so, I keep the mean face in place. She realizes mommy isn’t joking; she sticks two fingers in her mouth and comes to me. I’ll pick her up, kiss her chubby cheeks and tell her not to go there again. And then she says bad, bad. Children I think are generally like that. You always have to show them you mean business.
Be consistent: However way you choose to discipline your child, be consistent. Consistency is what is going to make it stick. As your kids grow older, the get bolder and more opinionated, which is a good thing. In fact, you should encourage them to find a voice of their own and express themselves. The point here is that there has to be a laid down rules, like dos and don'ts and a known punishment for defaulters.
Talk with your children: Encourage great communication in your home, communication amongst siblings and communication between your kids and yourself. That way, you will instantly know when any of your children is going astray.
Finally, Children are God’s gifts to us, and the scriptures did say the gift of God makes rich, and adds no sorrows to it. Keep affirming this to yourselves, and it will come alive in your home.