Class # 51062
20 June 2018
Discipline is teaching a child self-regulation, self-responsibility and creating a sense of security. It is the guidance that helps a child fit into the world as they get older. Discipline is more about changing the behaviors, not about punishing the child. Respect in the foundation needed for effective discipline. The child should respect the authority of their parents. If a parent is inconsistent with discipline or harsh (name calling or yelling), this will make it difficult for a child to respect and trust them. Instead, discipline should be firm, reasonable and consistent in order to be effective. Effective discipline should not make a child feel shame, guilt or abandonment. It is meant to actually build trust between the parent and child.
There are many alternative discipline methods rather than spanking or time-outs. However, there are a lot of things to consider when choosing what type of discipline method will work best. A parent should take into account the child’s age, level of development and their temperament. It is important that the parent also be a good role model and avoid not following through with given consequences.
Inductive discipline is commonly referred to as the most effective type of discipline. (Ylvisaker, 1) It is associated with “authoritative parenting”. Parents are still the child’s authority figure but talk, negotiate and at times let the child make the decision. When the child is behaving, parents will use positive reinforcement and the reasoning is clear. Positive reinforcement will enhance the probability of the desired behaviors to be repeated. Parents listen to their children and discussion occurs frequently. They are understanding and consistent in enforcing the household rules. They have clear rules to follow with good reasons that are explained to the child. The child will recognize that there are natural and logical consequences to their behaviors, whether they follow the rules or violate them.
Children who are raised with inductive discipline tend to have better self-regulation later in childhood and adolescence than children than those with parents with a less positive style of parenting. (Ylvisaker, 1) This is also because they grew up in an environment that was organized and predictable.
Allowing children to learn from their mistakes actually enhances learning. There is a lot of pressure on children to be perfect and successful. Parents tend to reinforce this when they cover up the mistakes the child makes by doing things like correcting their homework to improve the grade. Studies show that learning is enriched through error. This is what challenges and motivates them to try a different approach.
“Carol Dweck, a professor at Standford University, studies the importance of challenging children, even if they get things wrong. Her research shows that praising children for their intelligence can actually make them less likely to persist in the face of challenge”. The research study had two groups of 5th graders, one group was praised for their intelligence and the other was praised for effort. When they were given a test prepared for 8th graders, the students who were praised for their effort worked very hard and made a lot of mistakes. The children praised for being smart saw their mistakes as a failure and became discouraged. “Intelligence testing for the kids praised for their effort increased by 30% while the kids praised for their intelligence dropped by 20 %”. (Price-Mitchell, 1)
Instead of fixing a child’s mistakes, a parent should help them find the solution. It’s important to allow mistakes to happen so the child can navigate the process of improvement, which is important in the real world.
Redirection is a form of discipline with the focus on decreasing the undesired behaviors and increasing the desired ones. According to Family Development Resources, Inc. redirection strategies enhance exploratory learning and decrease punishments as a form of discipline. Redirection helps children deal with their emotions by teaching self-control and patience.
When using redirection, it is suggested that the desired behavior be requested and clear to the child. For example, instead of saying “Do not hit your brother!” a parent could say “It is not nice to hit your brother. If he upset you, you need to talk to him or me about it.” Substitution is also a suggested method of redirection. Often times, a child will want something already being used. A parent can offer the child a different toy or just give them their attention until the child is able to make a different selection on their own. Sometimes, relocation of the child is necessary in order to redirect the negative behaviors. I really liked this example, if a child is trying to go up a slide that other children are trying to go down, a parent can ask the child if he would like to go on the swings instead. If the child refuses, the parent would then need to escort the child to a different area at the park. (Farnham-1)
Ylvisaker, Mark. “Tutorial: Discipline.” Tutorial: Advance Organizers, 2006, www.projectlearnet.org/tutorials/discipline.html
Price-Mitchell, Marilyn. “Mistakes Improve Children’s Learning.” Psychology Today, Sussex Publishers, 7 Sept. 2011, www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-moment-youth/201109/mistakes-improve-childrens-learning.
Farnham, Kristie. “Strategies Used to Redirect Child Behavior.” LIVESTRONG.COM, Leaf Group, 1 July 2015, www.livestrong.com/article/237570-strategies-used-to-redirect-child-behavior/.