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Parental Discipline: How Should It Be Delivered?

Nov 14, 2007
Have you asked your own parent how difficult it was to raise you? I'm sure that you know the answer. Any parent can tell you raising a child is never an easy task. It might be easy to provide children with their material needs but when it comes to parental discipline, the methods that will work depend on many factors. Parental discipline, compounded with daily stresses is more than enough to handle for most parents. But don't give up. Your children will learn from experience if you use the appropriate approach when discipline is concerned.

The cornerstones of an effective parental disciplining techniques are consistency and predictability. Parents need to, first, establish the rules but make sure both you and your partner discuss what rules to enforce so you don't end up in a debate. Next, explain the rules to your child and lay out the consequences for disobeying and rewards for abiding by the rules. To involve your child in this, you can discuss the consequences and rewards for these rules.

The topic on how parents influence the development of their children has been of constant interest for study of developmental psychologists only in the early part of the 20th century. Understanding parenting styles and how it correlates to child development is very crucial to the world's societies, as it help shape future leaders and, essentially, the citizens of tomorrow.

The family has always been identified as the basic unit of a society, in which children first obtain education such as learning to talk, walk, sing, as well as the other fundamentals of existence. Parenting is not seen as a specific behavior (like a single conflict) but a typology of events, from which the general trend is what influences the children's behavior and outlook. Of course, parenting style alone should not be entirely to blame on how an individual's performance throughout his life.

Parenting is a broad issue that is often the subject of debates, although experts on the field of psychology have identified three parenting styles: authoritarian, authoritative, and permissive (indulgent or non directive). Parenting styles is a combination of two important elements, which are parental domineeringness and parental responsiveness. The four parenting styles often revolve, but is not limited, to these two elements.

Authoritarian parents, most often than not, possess the character of being overly demanding and want their children to obey them at all cost. Families with this parenting style are bound within black and white rules, and do not respect the desires, opinions and interests of a child, while the latter are looked at as lesser people than them.

It is not unusual to find children rebelling against their parents (when they can) in authoritarian parenting. Authoritarian parenting also does not give room for children to develop their creativity and intellectual growth because its main focus is for children to follow orders without contest.

Permissive or indulgent parents have the tendency to be apathetic of how their children develop, which manifest in their disinterest in their children's lives probably because they are not ready with the responsibilities of parenthood, or to answer to their own selfish interests. Permissive parents can be equated to neglectful parents.

Authoritative parenting style is seen as the most balanced and healthiest approach among the rest as it combines responsiveness and domineeringness. Parents adopting this style of parenting enforce limits on their children but only to protect them, although they would encourage their children to reason out when challenging these limits.

Parents may not realize that children imitate their behavior and what they do. The worst thing that could happen is for children to psychologically suffer from their parents' neglect, aggressiveness, and maltreatment which can be destructive in the emotional and psychological growth of children.

Parents need to acknowledge and provide positive responses every time a child follows the rules by giving some form of encouragement or reward. Otherwise, the child should be informed of the consequences for breaking the established rules. Children learn from experience, and it is therefore necessary to let them experience the consequences rather than submerge them into punishment. Most parents confuse parental discipline with punishment, but it should not be the case. Instead, mistakes can be a turned into a venue for learning.

When enforcing a parental discipline method, make sure the rules are reasonable and age-appropriate. For instance, it is simply difficult for a two-year-old to comprehend that it's not right to write on the wall, as he/she may find it entertaining. One characteristic of young children is they are self-centered. What you can do in situations that require children to cease from doing something he finds amusing is to distract the child or offer a similar activity that is less destructive or hazardous.

Tips for effective parenting discipline technique

Parental discipline can vary in families, religions, social status, and so on, but effective parents are characterized by their responsiveness to their child's needs. Children also need some time alone to discover things around them - trust your child and let him/her perform activities within his/her stage of development. Most of all, respect your child even if you're reprimanding him/her, and never use name-calling, yelling or any form of disrespect. You need give clear instructions, and be firm and specific when enforcing them.
About the Author
Adam Webster is the author of numerous health and family related articles and books. You can find his latest Parenting articles at http://www.squidoo.com/successfulparenting/
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