How to Constructively Discipline your Child– 5 Parenting Tips for Dads

To a great extent, parenting is about disciplining and defining boundaries for children. But discipline has more to do with teaching your child important life lessons than finding ways to punish him or her for inappropriate behavior. All children push their boundaries and experiment as they mature and are exposed to new habits and people. But no child gets it right every time – that’s why dad might need to step in from time to time to help him head down the correct path. Dads who set firm but loving boundaries offer the security every child craves and teach them positive values. Here are five parenting tips for to help you discipline your child in a positive manner.

Hpw to Discipline your Child without Punishment
How to Discipline your Child without Punishment
"Sun, Son and dad..." by Nisha A is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Parenting Tip #1 – Use teachable moments

Your child will behave badly sometimes – bully a sibling, speak rudely or behave selfishly. Dealing with temper tantrums, sibling rivalry and other growing pains can lead to sulking or arguments, but there’s no reason why it should. Instead, use these situations as “teachable moments” to help him or her understand why their behavior was wrong and how they can handle it better next time. This will help your child learn the value of good behavior and develop the ability to handle constructive criticism positively.

Parenting Tip #2 – Set rules and consequences

Rules and the consequences of breaking them should always be clearly defined, logical and consistent when it comes to kids. This helps avoids confusion among kids and goes a long way towards enforcing them down the line. Setting a rule is best done when your child is a part of the process and understands its meaning and importance. For instance, if you want your child to keep their room clean, it would help to break down this chore into several smaller ones (putting away his or her clothes, making the bed, etc), fix a mutually agreed upon time for doing it and specify the consequences for not doing what your child is expected to do (no computer time or playing with friends till it’s done, etc.)

Parenting Tip #3 – Set clearly defined boundaries

All dads want their kids to be strong and self-confident and setting clear boundaries is one of the ways you can accomplish this. Many dads cave in when those boundaries are challenged or they are unable to stand up to emotional blackmail. However, boundaries provide safety, structure and focus to children’s lives and help them cope with the world. Children whose dads fail to establish parameters and rules tend to be lost, insecure and overwhelmed by the seeming chaos surrounding their world.

Parenting Tip #4 – Show respect

It is important to be firm while disciplining your child, but it’s equally important to be courteous and logical. Make sure he understands that while you do not like or approve of something he has done, you do love and respect him. This means listening to him when your child expresses his or her opinions and feelings and then explaining how you would like him to behave in future. In a nutshell, speak to your child as you would have him speak to you. Good communication and mutual respect is key when it comes to communication.

Parenting Tip #5 – Be consistent

Consistent application of rules and enforcing of boundaries is one of the biggest parenting responsibilities you will have. Setting up a rule one day and letting it slide the next will confuse your child and make him think he can get away with bad behavior. Consistency helps children know what’s expected of them and what to expect from their parents. It also teaches them about trust and the value of keeping one’s word.

Parenting may not be easy, but raising a secure, loving and self-disciplined child is certainly one of the perks of a job well done.

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