For some reason, parenting and discipline go together. After all, in order for us to run a home properly, we must set some rules and make sure we follow them to everyone’s benefit, right?
Setting rules and following a discipline routine is not easy. It requires parents to have lots of discipline and self control. To my surprise, when people seek parenting programs to enhance their parenting skills, they look for disciplining tricks and techniques when in fact, what they need is not a one-size-fits-all way of parenting but exposure to many different philosophies, which they can adapt to their own kids, beliefs and circumstances.
Parental discipline can be one or a mixture of the following definitions:
- A set or system of rules and regulations
- Training to act in accordance with rules like military discipline
- Activity, exercise or a routine that develops or improves a skill. For example a daily practice of the musician is an excellent discipline
- Punishment given to correct the behavior or skill
- Behavior that matches the rules of behavior for example: My son has good discipline as he goes to sleep early every night to allow himself to get up early in the morning for his rehearsal
If you examine your life, you will be able to find that you fit into one of these categories. Parents who focus on the skills and the behavior have a different discipline style to parents who focus on the rules.
As I prepared for this Top Parenting Bloggers project, I thought that the topic of discipline was probably something every parent would like to hear from people who have made parenting a high priority and somehow managed it well. Here are their answers.
What is your discipline philosophy?
Annie Fox, M.Ed. – From the desk of Annie Fox
Discipline should never include verbal or physical abuse. Nor should parents ever threaten or intentionally frighten a child. That said, figure out your parenting objectives – that is, what skills and personal qualities you’d like your child to have by the time he/she is 18. Know how you intend to teach to those objectives. Make your expectations for their behavior crystal clear.
The consequences for missing the mark on those expectations must be equally clear in the mind of the child. When the child chooses to break the rules then the pre-determined consequence immediately comes into play. By being clear and consistent with expectations, praise for compliance and discipline for non-compliance, there is much less confusion in the mind of the child and a much greater likelihood for consistent cooperative behavior.
One more important point: if you are raising children with a partner, make sure the two of you are on the same page! If not, get there!
Maria Melo – Conversations with Moms
Be consistent about my discipline
Follow through with consequences
Ensure that the consequence matches the inappropriate behavior
Always make it about the behavior and never the person
Annie – PhD in Parenting
I believe in gentle discipline, focused around modeling appropriate behavior, giving them choices and teaching them about the things I think are important and that I think will help them in life. I do not believe in spanking or any other form of corporal punishment. But there are other tools, like rewards and punishments, which I will use as a last resort. I wrote more about my discipline spectrum on my blog: http://www.phdinparenting.com/2008/10/20/my-discipline-spectrum/.
Ria Sharon – My Mommy Manual
Yogi Parenting. I’ve been a student of Michaela Turner’s yoga-inspired approach to parenting for the last two years. This approach takes the principles of yoga: centering, boundaries, ritual and peace and applies them to parenting. I have learned how to teach my kids to discipline themselves, instead of trying to control them. It has truly transformed my relationship with my kids and my experience as a mom, which is why I am helping to develop an eCourse to be able to share this approach with other parents.
Richard “RJ” Jaramillo – Single Dad
Be the “Pack Leader” of your family and set a good example and you never have to worry about exercising discipline in your family (watch the TV show “Dog Whisperer” about Cesar Milan).
Sue Scheff – Sue Scheff Blog
I don’t believe in corporal punishment and I am completely against boot camps. I do believe that discipline needs to be consistent. Time out is a common form of discipline, which I believe can be effective, as long as the parent follows through. As your child gets older, removing privileges is a form of punishment I used. However, again, you need to be consistent and always follow through. Making threats you don’t follow through with sends your teen the message that you are all talk and they don’t have to worry about their phone being taken from them.
Susan Heim – Susan Heim on Parenting
Every child is different. What works for one child may not work for another. The child’s gender, temperament, maturity and other factors must be considered when assigning consequences. And if you say there will be a consequence for something (i.e., no video games if you don’t finish your homework), you must follow through, no matter how difficult it is.
Ronit Baras – Family Matters
I do not like the word discipline at all. I see myself more as a captain running a ship, with all the responsibility that comes with it. So for me, a parent is more of a leader than a boss telling everyone what to do.
I am a life coach and believe with all my heart in supporting my kids’ emotional development. I do not believe in punishment but in encouraging good behavior, because in life, you get what you focus on. It is an old teachers’ trick – ignore undesired behavior, but highlight, encourage and congratulate desired behavior – and it works brilliantly. Instead of saying, “You are rude to your sister”, I find one good example and say “You are such a wonderful brother helping your sister with her lunch box” and, just like magic, it becomes the norm. If it does not happen the way I prefer it, I think it is always because I have not highlighted the good behavior enough.
If I do things my kids do not like, I explain once, twice, three times. Sometimes they cannot understand, just because they are just kids. If I have not convinced them, I tell them that that’s what captains do, they are there to make the decisions and parents are the captains of their household, so they will have to accept my decision.
I believe that having rules and boundaries is very important for kids. They are there to give kids stability, confidence and a sense of safety, not to limit them. Consistent parenting provides this safe zone to the kids. If there is a breach of rule, it is always because I wasn’t clear about the rule in the first place.
So now that you know how the Top Parenting Bloggers think, what is your parenting philosophy? Use the comment box below to share with us your thoughts and comments.
Join us again next week, when the top parenting bloggers discuss their profound parenting moments.
If you wish to know more about the bloggers who take part in this project or contact any of them, please visit their blogs, follow them on Twitter and/or become their fan on Facebook. Alternatively, you can send them a question or comment through the comment box below.
Thanks again to Susan, Sue, Annie and Annie Fox, RJ, Ria and.
This post is part of the series Top Parenting Bloggers Discuss:
- Top Parenting Bloggers Discuss (1): Introduction
- Top Parenting Bloggers Discuss (2): Parenting Challenges
- Top Parenting Bloggers Discuss (3): Best Parent Qualities
- Top Parenting Bloggers Discuss (4): Parenting Changes Life
- Top Parenting Bloggers Discuss (5): Ideal Child
- Top Parenting Bloggers Discuss (6): Education
- Top Parenting Bloggers Discuss (7): What drives you nuts?
- Top Parenting Bloggers Discuss (8): Discipline
- Top Parenting Bloggers Discuss (9): Profound Parenting Moment
- Top Parenting Bloggers Discuss (10): Parenting Tips
- Top Parenting Bloggers Discuss (11): Government Policy Suggestions
- Top Parenting Bloggers Discuss (12): Parenting Boys and Girls
- Top Parenting Bloggers Discuss (13): Parenting Teens
- Top Parenting Bloggers Discuss (14): How to Keep Your Kids Healthy