When you’re raising a child, one of the most important things you can do is show that child good discipline. Too many people have stopped disciplining their children at all. They say it’s mean, or it curbs their freedom, or they don’t want to ‘abuse’ their child. Discipline and abuse are far from the same thing, and children actually crave discipline, structure, and order in their lives. They need to know where their boundaries are, and they test those boundaries because they want to see what happens. Disciplining a child fairly and consistently lets that child know he or she is loved.
Of course, it’s possible for discipline to go too far, as well. Abusing a child is never right, and excessive discipline for a minor infraction isn’t necessary. As parents, people should be trying to build confidence, respect, and self-esteem in their children. Tearing them down and making them feel bad won’t accomplish that, so it’s important that there’s a good balance being authority and love. When you discipline a child fairly and that discipline remains consistent, the child will come around to the idea that you have his or her best interests at heart, and that you’re being reasonable.
Inconsistent discipline isn’t the answer, because a child has trouble determining what’s ‘safe’ and what isn’t where discipline is concerned. If you’ve been using that kind of discipline with your child, it’s important that you make an effort to be more consistent, so your child will learn where he or she stands. The avoidance of confusion is important, because children need to grow up feeling that they have some stability in life. Without that, they can end up with emotional trouble as they get older, which is unhealthy and – in most cases – avoidable with good, strong parenting.