Being empathic or able to relate to your own child’s issues, no matter how trivial or nonsense it may seem to you as an adult, is the way to get to the same page. At this sensitive age, parents can make the child feel that they are valued or heard. By validating your child’s feelings, you can establish a stronger, healthier relationship with your kid. It helps instill the kind of respect and discipline that does not easily go away because you got them to cooperate with you. Children will obey their parents, not just to avoid punishment like the fear of being spanked.
Disciplining at School Age
Children in the school-age category have a better handle of the consequences of actions. This is where instilling time outs, curtailing of certain privileges, and other forms of discipline can come into play. This is also the time when children can make their own decisions on certain things like choosing their friends, preference over clothing or items, and favorite activities. Setting a good example of respecting others is still important in this stage, as well as empathy. Like in the toddler stage, parents can accomplish a lot more by keeping calm.
Helping kids develop empathy on their own also helps them consider other’s welfare. Encouraging them to set healthy boundaries with people at a young age teaches them to have well-placed respect for other people.
The Teen Years
The teenage years can be a volatile time for both parents and children. If the foundation was laid correctly in previous stages of life, it is much easier or manageable to discipline even if the teenage years have a higher risk of rebelliousness. Teens are on their way to adulthood but are not quite there yet. So there is an inner conflict, which may cause your teen’s rebelliousness.
Dr. William Doherty, a family therapist and author of the book, Take Back Your Kids, advocates that an occasional fit of anger is necessary for parents to assert their authority. It is especially necessary if the teenager completely disregards consequences and insists on having their way around things.
How to teach a child respect and discipline? Ultimately, parents do their best for their kids in any way possible. But those who succeed the most in instilling respect and discipline are the ones who set a good example by living their lives full of respect and discipline for everyone. Kids emulate what they see in their parents especially when they are younger, and will carry this to adulthood and in their future relationships with other people.
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