One of the most important responsibilities of parents and guardiansis promoting discipline among children. This is because the traitsadopted by individuals at a young age have an influence on theirpersonalities in adulthood. Parents use various methods of teachingchildren what is expected of them in the society (Lapointe, 2016).They include corporal punishments, non-physical, and non-punishmentmethods as well as parental styles. This paper discusses severalapproaches to enhancing discipline among children and theirconsequences.
Corporal punishment is one of the most common methods of instillingdiscipline among children. Despite the controversies and criticismsassociated with it, due to its impacts on the physical andpsychological development of the child, the majority of parents viewit as an efficient technique. Traditionally, adults had the right tospank a child to discourage bad behaviors. Recent studies indicatethat, although they are less intense, almost all parents in themodern society use some form of corporal punishment to promotediscipline among young children (Larzelere, 2013). This suggests thatit has positive impacts and, therefore, can be considered as anadequate method. However, it has negative consequences. Incidences ofabuse are usually associated with violent punishments. Some of themare likely to result in injuries or torture. Additionally, it hasbeen argued that it promotes a culture of brutality in families,resulting in increased incidences of domestic violence. For example,children who were exposed to some form of rough treatment tend toexhibit aggressive behaviors in their adult lives. Due to theskepticism towards spanking and smacking of children, some countrieshave abolished it. In spite of it being illegal, it is evident inmany families (Larzelere, 2013).
The criticisms of corporal punishment have resulted into increasedadvocacy for non-physical and less punitive methods of promotingdiscipline among children. Psychologists have argued that repeateduse of the same approach results in habituation. This reduces theeffectiveness of the process in promoting good behaviors. Thus, acombination of less physical techniques can have positive impacts onthe development of moral characters. In the modern society, teenagersare subjected to grounding, scolding, and timeout to discourageunacceptable behaviors. Grounding is an approach where the movementsof the delinquent individual are restricted. He or she is not allowedto visit his or her friends, use a family car, play games, watchtelevision, or engage in social activities. The parents or adults canalso openly criticize or reprove the actions of the teen. In somecases, depending on the age of the child, he or she can be sent awaydue to misbehavior. This is evident in learning institutions, wherelearners are expelled from the school, for some time, due to badbehaviors. Although these non-physical approaches ensure that thechild learns what is not acceptable in the society, they can becounterproductive. For example, if the temperament and personalitytraits are not considered, his or her reaction may have adverseconsequences. Additionally, the attention given to the indisciplineincidences can act as reinforcement, resulting in worse acts (Santos,2015).
There are approaches to children discipline that do not focus onpunishment. This is because reprimanding kids have limited value inpromoting good values and morality in the society. Recent studieshave supported the role of positive discipline in child-rearing(Nelsen, 2012). This involves the parents providing guidance, ratherthan punishing the youngsters. It is based on healthy familyrelationships, where all members of the family can have aconversation on what is acceptable and unbefitting. The approachavoids manipulative strategies such as rewards but focuses onbuilding rapports that are supported by two-way communication. Therationale of the method is based on the fact that punishment willdeal will the deviance in the short run, since it does not teach thekids why and how they should behave. Despite its effectiveness, it ishindered by the modern way of life, where individuals are spendingless time with their families (Lapointe, 2016).
Parental styles have enormous implications on children disciplinebecause they influence how families deal with deviant behaviors.Authoritarian parents use punishment to promote absolute obedience.They value conformity with the established rules. Authoritativeguardians have an issue-orient approach to children behavior. Throughfirm and rational control, they can promote desirable characters.Some parents are permissive and, therefore, tend to value love morethan discipline. This can result in indiscipline, low esteem, andinsecurity among persons from these families. Some adults tend to beneglectful, where they do not seem to care about the behaviors oftheir children. Accordingly, when the balance between love anddiscipline is compromised, the parental style has negative impacts onthe upbringing (Larzelere, 2013).
In conclusion, several methods can be used to promote disciplineamong children. They include corporal punishment as well asnon-punitive approaches. Additionally, guardians can use theirparental styles to promote desirable behaviors. All the methods havepositive and negative consequences. Therefore, it is essential tocombine several of them to reinforce good deeds and discourageindiscipline.
Lapointe, V. (2016). Discipline without damage: how to get yourkids to behave without messing them up. British Colombia:Lifetree Media.
Larzelere, R. (2013). Authoritative parenting: synthesizingnurturance and discipline for optimal child development.Washington, D.C.: American Psychological Association.
Nelsen, J. (2012). Positive discipline. New York: BallantineBooks.
Santos, S. (2015). Parenting And Disciplining Strong WilledChildren: Advanced Parenting Techniques For Defiant Children!Csorna: JNR Publishing.