There’s no doubt that discipline and parenting go hand in hand. It’s our role to teach our children the difference between right and wrong, and that sometimes requires some form of discipline.
However, as parents, we sometimes discipline our kids in a way that has the potential to crush their self-esteem. But where do we draw the line? My parenting style has evolved over the years, especially in the past 2 years, and so has the way that I discipline my kids. In this blog post, I share a few tips on disciplining without crushing self-esteem.
Assess before you discipline
Here’s the thing, sometimes children “misbehave” because they have unmet needs. It’s their cry for help. So when your child “misbehaves”, step back and think about the role that you have to play in the situation before you discipline. Try and figure out why your child is behaving in that way. Are you spending enough quality time with them? Do you listen to them when they speak? Do you praise your child when they make the right choices? There could be various reasons for their unfavourable behaviour, but we need to do our best to get to the bottom of it.
No harsh punishment
Our role as parents is to love and teach our children. In fact, they’re our biggest teachers, but that’s a blog post for another day! So when it comes to discipline, think clearly about your intentions. Are you trying to teach, or are punishing your child? Although harsh punishment such as spanking may have instant results, the long term consequences can be detrimental for your child and your relationship. Let’s lead with love.
Talk things through
When your child “misbehaves,” talk to them before you discipline. Explain to them why they shouldn’t behave in that way, especially the younger kids. Make sure they understand why they’re being disciplined and reassure them that you still love them despite their behaviour.
Avoid using labels
Saying things like “you’re naughty” or “you’re a bad child” changes the way children perceive themselves. And if they begin to view themselves as bad, they’re more likely to misbehave. Instead, tell your child that they’ve made a poor choice. Our kids need to know that they’re still good kids, even if they sometimes make bad choices.
Those are some of the principles that I use when it comes to disciplining without crushing self-esteem. I’m no expert, but these principles have helped me maintain peace in my household. How do you ensure that you discipline your kids without crushing their self-esteem? Let me know in the comments below.
Photography: Elsie B Photography