A few tips from Lizette – 5 Things I have learnt over the years about disciplining children
“A true hero is not someone who thinks about doing what is right, but one that simply does what is right without thinking!” -Kevin Heath
With this in mind, I thought I’d share five things that I have learnt over the years about disciplining children:
1. Be the kind of person that you want your child to become. Your child learns far more from your example (what you do) than from your convictions(how you tell them to behave and what you say you believe).
2. Ask advice. You may think you know how to raise your child because you were a child once. You don’t. You and your child most likely share a different combination of temperaments compared to what you’ve shared with your own parents. More importantly, you are raising a child in a totally different time. Your child is exposed to so much more than you were when you were his age. If you think it was difficult finding ‘True North’ when you were a child and a teenager, imagine how difficult it’s going to be for your child to find it living in a time where there are hundreds of different maps. Parenting isn’t as simple as it used to be. Get help.
3. Invest time in training. Never tire of setting up situations where you can use positive and negative consequences to help shape your child’s thoughts, habits and character. Make the most of every opportunity. There’s no other way. No short cut. Just do it.
4. Laugh a lot. Don’t laugh when your child does something that is unacceptable – it confuses them. Don’t make jokes at their expense and never laugh at your child when he is embarrassed. At any other time, make jokes – even when you don’t really feel like it. Keep things light. If needed, Google “jokes for children”, jot a few lines down on paper and keep the notes in your handbag. See laughter as sunlight and discipline as water. Together they make things grow. It’s amazing how much easier it is for a child to be corrected by a parent that he even more often shares a laugh with.
5. Recognize that you are shaping both a heart and a relationship. In the end you will be able to count yourself successful if you end up with two things: (1) an adult child who knows his way when he gets to a fork in the road, and mostly simply does what is right without thinking and (2) an adult child who wants to spend time with you because he respects you and values your opinion. Don’t be weak. Don’t be lazy. You are in a race against time. Your child doesn’t need another friend. He needs a parent.
Lizette van Huyssteen
Founder of the Practica Programme
When we know better… we do better