The Carrot Versus The Stick - Motivation versus Discipline
Most parents we speak to subscribe to the positive parenting camp. This group of conscious parents talks to their child, explains patiently to him, believes in positive affirmation and treats to reward their child.
But many of these parents are divided on discipline.
Discipline seems to have taken on a negative connotation and avoided. This leaves parents ill-equipped with a weak toolkit of corrective measures, leaving them stranded if 'talking to their child' doesn't stop their child from cutting up daddy's word document or hurting baby sister again.
Having a clear strategy of discipline does not mean accepting the flaws of your child nor negatively reinforcing the bad behaviour. A discipline approach provides our child with boundaries of moral governance.
The Carrot and Stick are not mutually exclusive. Motivation works intrinsically whereas Discipline provides external reminders. In fact, over reliance on rewards and over pandering our child may very well kill motivation.
Here's some tips to formulating your own discipline governance.
1. Determine your family values. Know what you are standing up for.
2. Discipline should be tailored to each child's personality and the specific misbehavior.
Choose your battles wisely. Time out? Before you consider physical punishment, there are more corrective measures such as cleaning up after the thrown food, taping up the torn book or washing the wall that is vandalised.
3. Be consistent in reinforcing your values to avoid power struggle.
Your child should understand some rules are non-negotiable. She should not think that you would give in if she cries more.
4. Educate our child on cause and consequence.
Let him learns from mistake and has a small taster of the consequence of his action. For example, if your child has hurt another child, you need to help him see the emotional connection. This helps him internalise the gravity of his action and make better decision in future.
Be firm. You have a hand in shaping your child.
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