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Discipline is never an easy topic for parents

Discipline is never an easy topic for parents

Parenting methods often prove a contentious topic, particularly with approaches to child-rearing discipline having changed so much in just one generation.

But no one needs to be told they’re doing it wrong, do they? I mean parenting is the most natural thing in the world, doesn’t it follow that you should inherently know how to do it?

Unfortunately not. As anyone who’s ever had a baby will tell you, they don’t come with instructions!

The way parents are told to look after and discipline their kids is constantly evolving too, so it’s no surprise parents are confused!

Helping out with my grandkids I can see that things have definitely changed since I brought up my children. And although I am very much against smacking, its hard to ignore some parents laissez-faire attitude to discipline at the moment.

Sue Atkins, a parenting expert and author of the Secret to Well Behaved Kids CD and workbook, summed up my thoughts on the issue far more eloquently.

“Smacking is a difficult message,” she explained. “It means children will lash out when they’re angry or when things don’t go their way. They will use their fists rather than their words because they learn everything from you.”

But there are so many alternatives to smacking and children need to be disciplined from a young age so that parents don’t face a battle when their kids get a little older.

Ms Atkins said that parents need to set the groundwork from the off so that kids are never confused about the rules.

“Children thrive on discipline and boundaries. They feel safer when they have boundaries around them. Children from an early age should have some simple rules and some simple consequences, and be rewarded when they get things right,” she said.

Consistency is important, but, as I tell my daughter, so is the belief that you’re doing ok.

Posted by Margot Hunter

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