My wife and I share the same belief that children are blessings from above that is why when we got married, we did not plan to have or not have children. We told ourselves, to let the Almighty give us or not give us children and abide by His will.
After 12 years of marriage, we were given 4 children, The first 2 are boys and the second 2 are girls We felt that we were very blessed even until now. Even if we have so many frustrations as parents.
Disciplining children is a very difficult task. There is no single formula or pattern that works every time. It is a thankless job that most parents are willing to do because of love. So, before we proceed to my suggestions on how to discipline children, let me share with you what I and my wife learned to accept as parents and what we keep on reminding each other every time we become disheartened. Here they are.
- We are not perfect. This makes us realize that we cannot set perfection as a goal to our children It also makes us quick to forgive thinking that we also commit mistakes so why we should be too hard to our children when they commit mistakes.
- Our children are not ours. We do not own our children. Even though we were given the responsibility and authority over them we cannot claim them to be ours. The Lord owns them and we must seek His will for them.
- We cannot plan their life. No matter how good our intentions may be, what they want to be and who they want to be with in the future are their decisions to make. We have to respect it,
- Our children will leave us one day. Nothing in this world lasts forever. Be prepared that your child will leave you one day so fill their hearts and minds with loving memories so that you will always be them no matter where they go.
- We must always pray. Pray that the good Lord be with you, as you raise your children so that they grow up according to His will.
The tips I am going to share with you are from my own and my wife’s experiences as parents and from our understanding of paragraphs 268, 269 & 270 of Amoris Laetitia which are under the title of “The value of correction as an Incentive”. Amoris Laetitia (The Joy of Love) is an Apostolic Exhortation by Pope Francis on love in the family.
7 Suggestions on how to discipline your child.
Be clear and be firm on what is right and wrong. Our society has become so complex that defining right and wrong is difficult and confusing. As a Christian, I would suggest that you read the bible, attend the mass regularly and join a Christian community. These will help you identify what is right from wrong according to Christ. Teach it to your children clearly and firmly.
Help your children realize that misbehavior has consequences. This is not about the punishment that they get when they misbehave but it is about explaining to them the effects of the wrong behavior. For example, explain to them the effects of always yelling, being dishonest or the effects of not asking permission.
Teach your child the value of asking forgiveness. When your child misbehaves, not only you should explain its consequences but you should also ask him or her to ask for forgiveness to those who were affected or got hurt by the wrong doing. Tell him the importance of mending the harm done and the importance of repairing the relationship. This will also teach them the value of humility. We have a good article that focuses on teaching humility to children. Please click the link below to read more about it.
Let your child feel loved despite the misconduct. It is truly difficult to control your temper and there will be times that you would truly be angry. It would be good if you can control it all the time but if you cannot you have to explain your feelings to your child after your outburst. Let your child feel that you love him and that you are more concern of him more than his mistakes. According to Pope Francis and may I quote, “Children who are lovingly corrected feel cared for.”
Know your child limitations and weaknesses. Sometime, bad attitude is caused by your child’s limitations and weaknesses. Know your child well by spending more quality time with him or her. Identify his or her weaknesses and show understanding especially when strengthening the weakness is difficult or not possible.
Balance rights and responsibilities. Children of today have great sense of entitlement. They know much about their rights and privileges. As a parent we must teach them that for every right there is a responsibility. If he has a right to a room then he has the responsibility to maintain its tidiness. If she has a right to a computer then she has the responsibility to use it for her studies, control online gaming and visit clean and appropriate sites only. Giving house hold chores to your child can also help in teaching him or her how to be responsible aside from boosting his or her self- esteem.
Be a model of discipline. Walk your talk. Be disciplined yourself and your child shall imitate you.
You can also watch the video below for more suggestions regarding the topic.
The Value of Correction as an Incentive
The value of Correction
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