One primary duty of parenthood is molding and shaping your child’s behavior. And the truth is that this isn’t possible without discipline. All parents discipline their children to some degree, but there is no one “right” way to do it. The type of disciplinary technique you use will likely depend on your parenting style, your child’s temperament, and the severity of the misbehavior.
Here are four different disciplinary techniques that you may want to consider adding to your arsenal.
Boundary Based Discipline
The boundary-based approach to discipline is all about setting clear rules and expectations and then consistently enforcing them. With this method, it’s important to be very clear with your child about what the rules are and what the consequences will be for breaking them.
For example, if your child has a rule about not leaving the yard, you would explain to them that if they break this rule they will lose privileges like TV time or playing with friends. Then, if they do happen to break the rule, you would follow through with the consequences that you had established.
This type of discipline can be especially effective for children who need more structure and predictability in their lives.
Natural consequences are those that occur naturally, without any intervention on the part of the parent. With this type of discipline, the goal is to allow children to experience the natural consequences of their actions, without rescuing them from them.
For example, if a child doesn’t put away his toys and they end up getting broken, that is a natural consequence.
This method helps children learn from their mistakes and make better choices in the future.
Logical consequences are those that are directly related to the misbehavior. This type of discipline aims to help children see the direct connection between their actions and the consequences that follow.
For example, if a child hits another child, a logical consequence would be for the child to apologize to the child he hit.
This method is effective as it allows the child to still feel some sense of control over the situation.
Behavior modification is a type of discipline that focuses on changing specific behaviors, rather than punishing them. With this method, you would identify the desired behavior, and then put a system in place to reinforce that behavior.
For example, say you wanted your child to start cleaning up his room daily, you might set up a reward system where he gets a small prize for doing so – whether it’s concert tickets to see their favorite artiste or a visit to their favorite grandparent at their memory care home.
Over time, the hope is that the desired behavior will become habitual.
No matter which disciplinary technique you choose to use, the most important thing is that you are consistent with it. Inconsistent discipline can be confusing and frustrating for children, and it will likely be less effective in changing behavior.