Each parent has their own perspective on discipline. There are those who believe implementing strict rules is the best way to inspire good behavior, while others favor going easy on kids, allowing them to make guided mistakes.
According to a Psychology Today, raising disciplined kids would be made easier if you practice setting empathetic limits. What does this mean, exactly? Let’s take a closer look.
Setting limits based on the concept of consequences and punishment often discourages a child’s ability to self-regulate or to form his own ways to control his impulses.
For instance, your child refuses to do her homework or clean their room. Then you decide to put your foot down, warning them by saying, “Do it or else.” Though this may do the trick, it may make their motivation for following your rules simply to avoid a punishment rather than forming a better attitude towards it. This could be a chance for you to encourage long-term positive behavior that will benefit them as they grow up.
Setting limits while showing them you care
Showing them you are empathetic, that you care, inspires them to have initiative. There is less of a struggle to follow rules. This doesn’t mean they enjoy the limits, but seeing that you understand how difficult it must be, motivates them to follow you. They know you do not want what’s best for them. If they’re not merely motivated by wanting to avoid consequences, but by wanting to work towards a positive goal, they will most likely be more self-disciplined.
If he doesn’t want to do his homework, for instance, explain to him that putting it off will simply cause difficulty as he might stay up late doing it and be sleepy in school the next day and you don’t want him to have a hard time. Explaining consequences clearly with care will make it easier for them to follow and to understand why you are setting limits in the first place.
So the next time your child is resisting rules, don’t despair. Be patient. Use it as an opportunity to guide them to become more and more self-disciplined. Allowing them this helps build your trusting relationship, too, and inspires your kids fully certain that you set rules because you truly care.
What empathetic limit have you set for your child today?
sources: Pyschology Today, AHA Parenting
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