The Art of Parenting: Discipline (video)

The word discipline is often interpreted as punishment. In this video, our own VP of Education, Linda Hassan Anderson, shares a different perspective on “discipline” not as punishment, but as an opportunity to teach children how to regulate their own behavior and learn what’s appropriate in what settings. Linda also discusses discipline as the opportunity to recognize that your child is developing into their own, individual person with his or her own ideas and feelings, which I know from experience as a parent is easy to lose sight of. Here are Linda’s tips on discipline:

 

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  1. Candi Wingate

    What constitutes appropriate discipline? When should you administer discipline? While there is no one right answer to fit every family and every circumstance, there are some general guidelines that are recommended.

    First, let’s cover why a parent disciplines his/her child. The immediate purposes of discipline are usually twofold: to help a child learn what behaviors are ok and what behaviors are not ok, and also to punish a child for exhibiting behaviors that are not ok (”misbehaving”). The ultimate purpose of discipline is to ensure that the child does not repeat the misbehavior. This may be to ensure the child’s safety, to bring the child in line with societal expectations, or for any number of other reasons.

    With that in mind, what constitutes appropriate discipline depends on the age and mindset of the child, the culture in which the child is being raised, and the gravity of the behavioral violation at issue. For example, if a two-year-old child has loudly voiced her displeasure in the middle of a nice restaurant, her parent may remove her to a more private setting (for example, her parent’s car) where she can receive a two minute time-out, be told how to express more appropriately what she is feeling, use that information (hopefully) to express her feelings according to the proscribed boundaries, and experience the love and patience of her parent without simultaneously receiving validation from her parent about her misbehavior. If, however, the child is eight years old and the errant behavior is playing in the middle of a busy street despite repeated parental instruction to the contrary, her parent may remove her from the street and take her to a more private setting (for example, her room) where she can receive an eight minute time-out, be reminded of the dangers of playing in the middle of a busy street, be provided options for alternate locations for play, be grounded for one full week, and experience the love and patience of her parent without simultaneously receiving validation from her parent about her misbehavior. During the week of grounding, the parent may take the child to a local emergency room’s lobby where the child can observe people coming in with major injuries so that the child will see how serious and painful accidents can be. Note that the length of the time-out is proportionate to the child’s age. (Typically, the length of the time-out is one minute for each year of the child’s life. So, a four-year-old will experience a four minute time-out… http://blog.care4hire.com/how-to-discipline-your-child-appropriately-and-effectively/214

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