Having an indisciplined child can be a real problem, one that poses the threat of embarassment for you, while making your child the subject of ridicule and potential rejection by other kids and parents. There may be instances where your child may be conveniently left out of play dates and birthdays, when you see a decrease in the number of friends coming home to play with your child, while instances of your baby being invited to friends’ house goes down visibly. You may reach the stage of almost giving up, of talking sternly to your child, and sometimes, even resorting to means of punishment and hitting. But once you sit down and actually think about it – who is to blame for this situation? Is it really your child, or is it you, the parent, who failed to inculcate the basics of discipline and manners in the little one?
Ensuring your little one turns out into a well-disciplined and well-grounded toddler and child, and later a good human being, is completely the responsibility of the guardian. Disciplining a child is a really simple task, and the basics can begin very early, much before your baby will learn to speak. A child will always emulate an adult, so it is really important that before you set yourself to discipline your child, you implement the same in your own behaviour and routine.
You may ask your little one to follow a certain pattern, to behave a certain way, but if you become an example of the opposite, the same will reflect in your little one’s attitude. As parents, we have the paramount responsibility of being the idol the child will look upto, the person whose behaviour and mannerisms the child will emulate, so our language, our behaviour and all our dealings in everyday life should be such that can provide the ideal example to our baby.
In India, where the concept of joint families is still alive in some households, it is especially difficult to discipline a child, since the safety zone to escape punishment is always close at hand. It is imperative that all adults of the household are tuned to the ways of bringing up a child – if each one has a different perspective and a different method of discipline and behaviour, a child will invariably end up being confused, thus losing out on important learning methods. In such a scenario, it is important that all adults discuss the matter, but make sure the child is not present while such matters are being talked about. In a nuclear family, both the parents need to have a ‘pre-decided’ agreement on how to discipline baby and what is allowed and what is crossing the limit.
Moulding your child into the person you want her/him to be is completely in your hands, so make sure you create the right ambience and the right mix of discipline and love to help your child grow up into a good human being. And remember to keep those hugs and kisses in plentiful – you want to discipline your child, yes, but one message that you always want to give out to your child is, that no matter what, mamma and papa will always love you.