Barriers to Helping our Child in the Development of Her/His Systemic Skills
When we discipline our child, where do we draw the line between strictness and permissiveness?
In the book: ‘Raising Self-Reliant Children in a Self- Indulgent World’ by H. Stephen Glenn,PH.D and Jane Nelson,Ed.D, it states that both strictness and permissivness should be avaoided in child raising. Strictness usually involves some type of threat and requires childrent to comply or rebel rather than think and respond. Permissiveness teaches children to manipulate the parents into rescuing and protecting them from the consequences and results of their behavior.This can be devastating to the child when she/he learns that she/ he cannot manipulate other people the way they do their parents.
What can we do as parents? 1. Understand and acknowledge that each of our child differs in her/his perceptions, learning styles, and development levels.When we are able to understand, accept and acknowledge each of our children, we give them unqualifid positive regard, love and respect.2. We have to reinforce each of our child’s acceptable behavior and accomplishment with specific recognition and appreciation. In the same way, we have to provide them with feedback on their unacceptable behavior. 3. We follow up on the aggreements which we have set as a family, with firmness, dignity, and respect.
One of the biggest mistakes parents make is trying to disguise punishment by making their children ‘pay for the wrongdoing , or by ‘grounding’ the child. When ‘grounding’ is used for revenge, this shows the child that ‘might is right’ and makes the child suffer. A good example is,” I don’t want to hear what you have to say. Just go to your room. I am disappointed in you.” Instead, ” We all make mistakes . Go to your room until you feel better and we can work out a solution so you would know how best to deal with this problem should it happen again in the future.” However, it is recommended that we discuss the possible grounding process in advance, lettng our child know that the purpose is not to humiliate her/him or cause suffering, but rather to give everyone a chance to calm down and work on solutions in a climate of respect, harmony and love. When we make our child feel worse, we only create a threatening environment and no constructive learning can take place.
As parents, we have to think seriously if the consequences we give our children will make them perceive these consequences as a life sentence or as a learning process. I believe that when we take the time to go through the learning process with our child, we are giving our child the best tools that will buffer, if not shield her/his from many of life’s challenges….it would be so good if we always remembered that we have been blessed by our children and that as guardians, we have the responsibility to treat them the way we,too, would like to be treated.