You start disciplining your child right from when he can differentiate the left hand from the right side. It begins at an early age. A child picks up quickly, and discipline needs to be imbibed as early as possible. It would help if you disciplined your child the best way so that they will not depart from it when they get old.
As your child grows, the memory improves, and they become receptive to new learning. When you introduce discipline at an early age, you start to teach right or wrong behavior. And because a child is more responsive to learning fast, they quickly imbibe those traits.
When you discipline your child, you help them learn what behavior is right and acceptable. The sooner you begin discipline and raising good kids, the better. Discipline is all about guiding and teaching your child, not punishment or anger.
When should parents start to discipline their kids?
For infants, discipline is of no use because all they know during that moment is eating, crying, and sleeping. They are too young to understand and be given any instructions. They only require consistent love, care, and attention from their parents during this stage.
Knowing when to start disciplining your kids in the early years is one of the most effective and powerful keys in raising a well behaved and a great child. You need not wait until your child can adequately talk before you instill discipline. Once the child can crawl, touch objects within reach, and interact with the environment, discipline should start.
Also, regardless of the circumstances, a child between 15-18 months should not be punished at all. Any form of physical punishment like hitting, beating, or shaking of an infant can cause severe neurological damage. The brain may be slammed against the skull in this process and cause serious injury to the baby.
During breastfeeding times, you observe that your baby gives you a sharp bite. At this moment, you spank the child to let him aware that a wrong has been committed. If you do not do anything at that point, it will continue and become a regular feeding habit for the baby. During this period, the baby has grown to a certain extent and can listen to corrections.
Also, the kind of discipline to instill will depend on the child\’s age. Setting limits to good and bad behavior can start when your child is still a baby. There are several things babies need to learn not to do as they grow, such as pulling your hair, clothes, or biting your nipples while sucking.
You teach them mostly on damage prevention and control rather than showing the actual lesson. Even as a baby, the child is still not capable of willful rebellion. What we consider as troublesome in the child is just a means of exploring his or her desires. The parent\’s primary responsibility at this stage will be to ensure the child\’s safety. This will means setting boundaries within the home as to where the kid can go and what can be within the hand reach for touching.
By the time the child is going to two years, the need for proper discipline can start. At this stage, they can understand what you\’re instructing them to do and not do. Failure to abide by your instructions can lead to punishments. Ensure that the kind of discipline you adopt does not harm the child or makes the child become violent but instead produce a healthy and confident child.
Types of child discipline
To determine the best discipline for you and your baby, you need to understand temperaments well. There are several types of training to inculcate into a child. They include:
- Positive discipline. Instead of focusing on punishment, it focuses on praise and encouragement instead. A lot of teaching is done regarding discipline here. More of the work is done by the parents here. It uses more of family meetings where the authoritative approach is used in solving behavioral problems. The parents use problem-solving skills by assisting their child in proferring solutions to problems. For instance, if your child refuses to do his or her homework, you use positive discipline to sit the child down and see reasons while the homework needs to be done. You can encourage the kid in several ways and buy things for the child when he completes the tasks.
- Gentle discipline. It focuses on problem prevention. The parents gently address the child\’s misconduct while putting their emotions in control. They tend to be calm while correcting misbehavior. The consequences of the child\’s behavior are stated and redirected towards going to the wrong directions.
- Boundary based discipline. The parents set clear rules which the child must adhere to and limits at which they can go. The kids are given options to choose from, and there are clear consequences for misbehavior. You can instill rules on certain activities or the use of certain toys until they accomplish certain things.
- Behavior modification. A reward is usually set in place if the child listens to the instructions given or gets work done. It focuses on positive and negative consequences. Excellent or positive behavior will be compensated with rewards or praise. Misbehavior or negative effects are discouraged and ignored, leading to a loss of privileges.
- Emotion coaching. It teaches kids about feelings for themselves and others around them. The kids are made to understand that feelings are normal and that parents help them know how they can verbalize them rather than act on it. Teach them the appropriate way to handle their emotions.
Benefits of disciplining your baby
Discipline ensures that a kid acquires the needed skills to become a responsible adult. Discipline provides many benefits to a kid which includes (but not limited to):
- It helps kid manage anxiety
- It teaches kids to make the right choice
- It helps kid manage their emotions
- It keeps a child-safe
- It enables a kid to set and achieve goals