Updated: Jun 28, 2022
One of my favourite stand up sketches is the one where Indian commedian Sindhu Vee talks about disciplining kids and she says "I am born and raised in India and what I consider robust, healthy high quality parental discipline is frowned upon in this part of the world, that's not true, it's illegal." I just find it so funny, that’s not true I love it. Sindhu Vee goes on to explain how much her parenting techniques differ from her husband's who is Danish and for whom giving as much freedom and making sure the child is happy is key. I also want my kids to be happy and have as much freedom as possible. However, I understood from the begining that for that to happen I needed to first give them the skills they'd need to recognise danger, to know how to act in varied situations, to know when to speak and when to keep shtoom and to know how to fend for themselves. I mean, as best as I could possibly master. Sindhu Vee goes on to explain that she uses emotional guilt just as they do where she comes from, just as her mother used to do with her. It's really funny you should watch it, I mean it is not my go to but I still find it funny. Anyway, in this blog, I want to try to give you ideas that I belive work, on how to discipline your kids without scarring them emotionally or phisically, in my opinion. I'm only going to discuss 3 pointers on discipline that I believe work at any age. Mostly, I think, I mean there's no right way or fire proof way of doing this thing called parenting. Please remember to leave comments whether you disagree or agree or even if it worked or not and also yor own suggestions.
“Because I Said So”
You don’t have to explain everything to your kids and honestly, you may not always have a reason or the time to do so. If you have hit the point of using “because I said so” your children should respect that as a final answer. I am not saying you shouldn't explain the reason why. But sometimes you won't have time to and the occasion won't be appropriate. You should be able to just say because I said so and then explain, if you can, when it's oportune, and your child should be abe to understand that.
Saying “NO” to a child these days is like one of the 7 sins, it gets such a bad rap with society, that most Parents feel the need to explain why and ask their child’s opinion and permission before they tell them no. I mean, Why? At what point did “no” become a bad word? If your 1 year old tries to touch the oven are you going to have a 2 hour conversation with them about why they should not touch the oven and what heat is and how it hurts if you touch it just to try to get them to not thouch the hot oven? Really? We seem to have shifted from a harsh “NO” to a 2 hour Ted talk about why your child should know the oven is hot and if they touch it, it will hurt them. Are you serious? In an emergency or time sensitive situation, you need to know that you can use the word “no” and your child will immediately stop what they’re doing. Not everything has to be a discussion or an argument. You don’t have to ask your child’s opinion or permission all the time. You don’t always have to explain everything to your kids! Ain't nobody got time for that. No is a very useful word. Bring back no, please.
Take Away Privileges
Parents today think that their children have rights which cross the line of what is actually a privilege. Before you come at me, I am not saying children don't have rights, they do. However, anything above and beyond a child’s basic needs fall into the category of a privilege. That iPad, that smartphone, those designer clothes or branded trainers, the outings to expensive places and playdates or birthday parties? That’s a privilege and probably a privilege you've paid for with hard work. If kids misbehave, they should lose a privilege. Whether it’s a toy, electronic, missing an event or whatever, do not hesitate to take it away and do not feel guilty when you do. Explain to your child that you are not being mean, but actions have consequences and their behaviour caused this consequence. Remember to give them warnings though, and to follow through, otherwise your children will learn that you are full of empty threats and will not listen to what you say. Remember, we don’t want your child to be scared of you but to understand that their actions have consequences.
See, the point is…to be consistent, purposeful and make sure your children know that you love them and want the best for them and you have certain responsibilities towards them but everything you do beyond that is a priviledge that they should be aware of. They will tell you that you are not being fair, I always used to say "life is unfair so I need to prepare you for it". Obviously they never agreed and always told me I made life unfair, but then they would say that. And maybe I did. But for a reason. With a purpose. Make sure that your child learns that every decision has a consequence and they need to be ready to deal with the consequences of their actions. And also that they are loved. That's important.