Of course there's no blueprint or formula for parenting. But kids need several things: They need love and security from their parents. They also need independence and an opportunity to take risks. And sometimes, families may get into situations when parents may have to set limits, boundaries, and even discipline their children.
When approaching discipline here are some tips from the Incredible Years program, which was developed by Dr. Carolyn Webster-Stratton.
Responsive and nurturing parenting
- All children are different, and every situation is different.
- Parents should be sensitive to the needs of their kids in various situations.
- Children pick up cues from their parents, so parents need to think and act positively.
- Children will strive for attention from others, so parents should give attention to positive behaviours.
- If children don’t receive positive attention, they’ll strive for negative attention.
- It’s normal for children to have behavior problems, and they are likely to be controlled if they are managed appropriately.
Setting limits and discipline
- Parents should keep the big picture in mind. They should nurture a child's emotional and social development as well as their ongoing relationship with their children.
- Power and responsibility are not equally distributed between children and adults.
- When parents set limits and provide structure, children learn self control and how to balance their wishes against those of others.
- Children can’t solve problems alone, so they need help from their parents to make decisions and provide behaviour control.
- Parents must find a balance and use their power responsibly by determining which problems need discipline and close monitoring, and which can be left up to their children.
- When using discipline, parents should develop an ethical approach that teaches their children that there are consequences for misbehaving, while letting them know they are loved and expected to do better next time.
- If children are never given any control in family relationships, power struggles will occur and children will strive to get control in inappropriate ways.
Practice makes perfect
- Parenting is a process for both parents and children.
- Parents, like children, learn, experiment, and make mistakes all the time.
- It's important for children to see their parents continuing to learn and cope in effective ways.
- If parents are confident and ready for inevitable problems, they will trust their instincts.
- Consistency is a virtue but not when it becomes an inflexible policy. There should be room for flexibility and creativity.
- Parents must invent their own parenting style that will work best for them.
- Parents need to have faith in their children.
- Parents should have fun with their children.