By Cherry Moriones-Doromal
Disciplining the child is a skill that parents learn over the years of living with their kids.
In my approach of discipline, Proverbs 22:6 guides me along the way, where it says: “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” And as to how I apply the principle, please check these out:
1.Start early. Mold your child’s ideal behavior as early in his life as possible. Developmental psychologists say that even the newborn has his own way of communicating his feelings and responding to mommy’s voice and other sounds—cooing, gurgling, smiling, and crying. So, it is important that you communicate with your kid in a manner that he will understand. For instance, a warm hug or kiss to a baby will mean love. Or to a first grader, how do you communicate good grooming? Do this by combing his hair, fixing his clothes, and putting on cologne before he goes to school, and say these simple words: “You look great. This is the way you should be every day.”
2.Set an example. The general principle in disciplining the child is to “do what you preach.” If you want something for your child to adopt, set an example. You may not effectively teach your child the bad effects of smoking if you frequently smoke in front of him.
3.Form a habit. A habit starts by introducing the right thing and doing the same thing constantly. For instance, if you want your child to eat vegetables, then, introduce to him vegetables by serving vegetables (such as carrots, cabbage, broccoli, etc.) regularly in his meals.
4.Involve the child. A Chinese proverb says: “Tell me I will forget. Show me I will remember. Involve me and I will understand.” The effects are poles apart in “simply saying swimming is fun”, “having your child watch kids swimming”, and “having your child dip himself in the pool to swim”. Educators and psychologists agree with similar principle that learning is attained most when the person is involved. In this manner, the person is able to tell others about his experience, and that experience will stick in his mind.
5.Make good things fun. Forcing your child to do something good may imply future negative repercussions, such as rebellion, inability to decide for/by himself or hatred. Better than pressing on him, think of fun ways of making him do something out of his own choice. For instance, in my case, I want my kids to be thoughtful. How do I train them to be thoughtful? Last Christmas, for instance, I prepared a table complete with art materials--colorful pens, nice paper, scissors etc. -- and asked the boys if they wanted to join me in creating Christmas cards for dad and granny. Yes, they joined me and were both excited to give their personalized Christmas cards to everyone.
7.Transform negative instructions to positive. Child psychologists believe that negative words and phrases like "no," "don't," "you can't," "I won't," "stop," and "not until” have unhelpful effects to the child. When a parent says "no," the child perceives the parent as a hindrance to what he wants to do. Parents are advised not to use these words, as much as possible, and just think of creative ways to speak their instructions. For instance, your child asks for chocolate candies right ahead of lunch. Instead of saying, "No chocolates until you've finished your lunch," you could say, "Sure, you can have chocolates after we’ve eaten lunch.”
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"Cherry Moriones-Doromal, an educator at the Mahatma Gandhi International School (MGIS), is a proud advocate of high-quality global education."
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Leave the crab behind