It’s a fact – parenting is hard work! Each age and development stage a child goes through presents different challenges for parents, but one challenge that doesn’t change is learning how to provide consistent and effective discipline.
Discipline isn’t just telling your child what they can and cannot do. It’s more about teaching and guiding them to make good decisions.
Here are our top tips for effective discipline, based on the free SKIP poster Children need six things to grow into happy capable adults.
1. Love and warmth
Show your child consistent love and warmth to help build a trusting relationship. A good parent-child relationship also helps improve your child’s self-esteem and self-worth and helps them understand that disciplining comes from a place of love, not anger.
2. Talking and listening
Talking and listening are important for both children and parents. Take the time to listen to what your child has to say to help you understand their behaviour.
3. Guidance and understanding
If your child understands why you want them to do something they’re more likely to listen. For example, if you’re going for a walk, explain to them before you leave the house that they need to hold your hand when crossing the road to stay safe.
4. Limits and boundaries
It helps if children know what’s expected of them, so make rules they can understand and follow. Make sure the rules are fair and that everyone – including adults – sticks to them. If your child is old enough they can help decide your family's rules.
5. Consistency and consequences
Being consistent and following through with consequences can be hard, especially when you're angry or wanting your child to behave in a certain way. But when a child knows the consequences of an action, and you are consistent with following through, it helps them feel safe and secure. Consequences should be relative to your child’s age, understanding and what they've done.
6. A structured and secure world
Above all, children thrive when they have routine and know what’s happening. Be a good role model for your children and watch them thrive!