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Parenting and discipline

Recently, the concept of “discipline” regarding parenting has acquired a negative color: for many people it is associated with authoritarian parenting and punishment. The methods of upbringing vary in different families depending on religion, culture, traditions and values, as well as on the characteristics of the character of the child. And such differences can be significant.

What does the concept of discipline mean?

In simple words, discipline is a way to teach a child to distinguish good from bad, to understand boundaries and rules. Discipline involves reinforcing good behavior and, conversely, punishing or negative consequences for bad.

However, what we understand as punishment does not always have a negative meaning. Today, parenting punishments are usually milder than before. Punishment can manifest itself in showing the child the negative consequences of his behavior, depriving him of any privileges or showing his disapproval in any other way.

If parents use effective methods to accustom the child to discipline, this helps him to understand that other people have the same rights as himself. This helps him socialize, develop self-confidence, feel safe and shape good behavior patterns. Discipline helps parents prevent behavioral problems in the child, for example, disrespectful behavior (when the child ignores the requirements of the parents) or defiant behavior (when the child deliberately behaves badly).

Types of Education and Discipline

There are various ways in which parents can teach their children to discipline.

Authoritarian parents believe that they raise a child in accordance with the rules. In such education there is no place for affection or compassion. Parents do not explain their actions to the child, and the child does not feel that he has the right to do so.

Psychologists argue that this style of education is less effective than other styles, when used by which parents show more compassion and kindness. An authoritarian upbringing style can lower a child’s self-esteem and make him doubt his abilities. Such a style can also form a child’s sense of resentment and hostility towards parents. This impairs the bond between the parents and the child.

Parents who use a democratic parenting style set clear rules and voice their expectations for the child. Parents show affection and flexibility in relation to the child, but at the same time demonstrate firmness in the fight against bad behavior. In other words, a child cannot violate the rules with impunity or behave badly. The child feels safe and feels the love of his parents, but it is the parents who are responsible for the child.

Since a democratic parenting style helps the child understand that bad behavior has negative consequences, he learns responsibility and develops self-confidence. He also begins to respect others and their rights.

In addition, there is an indifferent style of upbringing, in which parents impose certain restrictions on the child’s behavior, but practically do not establish consequences for their bad behavior. With this style of upbringing, the child shows great attachment to parents, his self-esteem and self-confidence are strengthened. But if parents allow the child too much, the parenting process becomes ineffective.

If parents allow the child a lot, they may have misconceptions about how to behave with others. The child also does not understand that other people also have rights and must be respected. So the child is not prepared enough for real life. Therefore, the balance between kindness and discipline is so important in raising a child.

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