There is a distinction between normal childishness and willful defiance.
Every growing youngster needs space in which to discover, learn, make mistakes, and experience all the other things involved in growing towards maturity.
Children naturally forget to do a household chore every now and then.
They spill milk and water and juice and Coke everything!
These are part of being a child. They are not trying to be malicious or defiant; they're just learning the ropes.
To come down hard on a little one for such actions is unfair. Child discipline is inappropriate on these occasions.
Willful defiance is another matter. This refers to a child's deliberate disobedience. Teachers see it in today's classrooms. Merchants face it in their shops. Police officers encounter it on the streets. People are forced to deal with it. Why? Because parents won't.
The permissiveness found in homes today is downright disgusting. It is not uncommon to find children intimidating their parents. Afraid to be strong, hesitant to stand firm against the determined will of their youngster, parents create a domestic setting that becomes unbearable.
Child discipline must start early in life. Waiting until your children are in school won't help. The longer you wait to get started, the harder it gets to enforce discipline.
Why start early? Why not wait until the teen years when you can dialogue more intelligently? Because "foolishness" is bound tightly in your child's inner being. Foolishness has disrespect for authority. Determined to go its own way, it resists all reproof. And, remember, all this is bound in the heart of every child. Starting early to shape that foolish will is wise. A child given to foolish ways only accelerates in defiance as time passes.
Thus, parents must not delay the disciplining process. Of course, they must adapt their disciplining procedure according to each child's age. Older children can (and should) be reasoned with but if you wait to start, it will only get harder.
If child discipline is administered correctly, no parent should ever fear it would result to death. It is far different when you hear of a child being abused so severely that the child dies. In this case, it is not proper discipline that was used. It was extreme, uncontrolled action of human insanity. In fact, proper discipline preserves the children from additional heartaches.
A child needs to be dealt with firmly when he has done wrong, but he always needs to know why. It is incorrect and unfair discipline when a child has no idea why he got a spanking.
It is extremely important for parents to remember that as a child grows older, there should be lesser physical punishment and more verbal correction. Once he or she reaches a level of maturity, spanking should be replaced with mere discussion. Your counsel changes from physical to verbal as your child matures.
Verbal correction is not a tongue-lashing. We convince our child verbally that what's wrong cannot be tolerated. Parents should not correct the child to the point that it is synonymous to verbal abuse. You do not discipline a child by putting him further down when he or she makes a mistake.
Perfect children do not live in your home. Neither does perfect parents. Understand that there will be times when you will break your own rules. To live under the assault of constant guilt will do neither you nor your family any good. A family must remain a team.
That means you must pull together flex, adjust, give, and take. When children grow up in a reasonable environment, they feel the freedom to fail without a ton of guilt falling all over them. They also grow up with better memories of how things were in their younger years.
Developing Good Manners In Kids
It is never too early to teach children good manners. Studies show that even at a very young age, kids are already capable of learning and experiencing empathy and concern for others. Teaching manners becomes easier when it is a common practice in the household.
As social beings, children learn by doing, says child development theorist John Dewey. From birth onward, children are constantly picking up emotional and behavioral cues from the people around them - parents, siblings, caregivers, etc. However, it is not enough to simply tell children what to do and say; showing them by example counts most.
Here are three sample scenarios to check the right way to react to everyday situations in order to train your kids toward good etiquette.
You, your husband, and your two-year-old son are having dinner. You son orders, "Mom, pass the salt." You:
a. Give an elaborate speech on politeness
b. Hand over the bowl of rice and curtly say, "Here." That should signal that he did something wrong.
c. Respond with, "Sure. But only if you say 'Please, pass the salt.'"
By the age of two, kids begin to form simple phrases, looking for ways to apply them. By teaching toddlers to say, "Please," "Thank you," and "You're welcome," you ultimately teach them how to show respect and gratitude. These are short but well-meaning words apt for your tot's early vocabulary.
At this stage, kids focus more on imitating the behavior of adults and older children. When kids see you respond to others with warmth and kindness, they will learn to idealize this and act in a like fashion.
2. Wiping Kisses
Your mother in law visits and meets your son for the first time. She hugs and kisses him excitedly, but he pushes her away and wipes his cheeks with his shirt. You:
a. Send him to a corner, which should compel him to think about his ill and disrespectful behavior.
b. Laugh at what happened. Kids will be kids. What can you do?
c. Apologize to your mother in law, then explain to your son how he should behave.
Meeting people for the first time may not come as easily to very young kids as it does to grown-ups. Don't expect kids to be congenial with every new person you introduce to them.
However, though children at this age may not always be able to control their emotions and reactions, they should still learn how to behave, especially toward elders or relatives. This helps prep them for future first-time encounters.
As in the case of the kiss-wiping little boy, apologizing right away to the mother-in-law tells the child that his actions were hurtful. Kids at the age of three begin to develop a rudimentary awareness that others have wants and feelings, too. Let them know that saying "I'm sorry" or "I apologize," even if it doesn't always undo the harm caused, makes a big difference to whoever was offended.
3. Taking Turns
Your two kids are playing with each other, when they accidentally break your favorite flower vase. Both run to you, yelling loud and fast, and placing blame on the other. You:
a. Become irritated with the bickering and leave.
b. Calmly tell them to stop talking at the same time. You ask one of them to speak first and ask the other to wait for his turn.
c. Punish them both immediately. They can explain later.
Waiting for one's turn is the general rule for a well-mannered person. Teach your children that speaking at the same time doesn't allow any of them to be heard. If they want to be heard, they have to learn how to listen and wait patiently for their turn to speak.
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Raising Kids: The Inspired Way
It is normal for parents to want the best for their children. You would want them to experience the best whether in school, extra-curricular activities, or both. Young kids especially find tremendous happiness in seeing their parents happy. They crave for attention and would do anything to gain their parents recognition and approval.
Take a step back and ask yourself this nagging question: how far can you push your little one without being too hard on him? How can you ensure that he performs at his peak without setting himself up for disappointment? The key is to know the difference between motivation and pressure.
Over competitive parents have higher expectations from their children. They are more particular with good grades and academic performance than the feelings of their children. Concerns like how happy their children are in school or in participating in school activities take a back seat for these types of parents.
Many parents continue to commit mistakes. For instance, some parents think that they are giving enough motivation' when they express dissatisfaction when their children get a grade of B. Parents have high expectations, always expecting their children to get straight As in school.
In worst cases, some parents even ask their kids to come up with explanations for their 'unacceptable' behavior. Some parents think that this will motivate them to think for themselves and take responsibility for their actions. With younger children, coming up with explanations is difficult. More often than not, kids do not always know why they delivered below expectations.
Some parents also commit the mistake of comparing their child to other kids thinking that they will become inspired. They compare and refer to other children's successes and place them side by side their own kids' performance. They tell their kids, "See? Casey can do it perfectly. You should, too!"
While these kinds of statements push your kid to do better just to win your approval, it places a lot of pressure on his back and might set him up for the pain of failure.
Given this situation, this robs the child of the feeling of accomplishment where he will enjoy what he is doing or realize the merits of performing well. Your child will do what you want him to do just because he wants to please you or is afraid of displeasing or disappointing you.
Competition is okay, but it should never be at the expense of your child's psychological well being. This is especially true when he is still very young, as this could become his foundation and guiding principle as he grows up.
Overly competitive kids, raised by parents who expect too much, usually end up miserable when they become adults. They have difficulty in appreciating things. They are driven by unrealistic expectations.
Motivation and inspiration are vital in ensuring that your child grows up happy and well. Both are crucial to helping your little one become the best that he can be and reach his fullest potential. You must remember, however, that you should not overdo the 'motivation' part as you might be unintentionally pushing your child too much.
If he fails, help him dust himself off, move on, and try one more time. Do not berate him for the mistakes he committed. Do not compare your child to those who have not erred. Instead, teach him never to give up. Persistence is more important. Tell him that he should be prepared for the next opportunity to take another shot.
If you are positive, your child will be positive. The happier his childhood experience, the better the person he will be. Being a parent is no easy task, but you can try to ease the challenge by telling yourself and your child to always look at the bright side of every situation.
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