Children are the basket of energy and vibrant potential. They consume it completely until the power is low. Once done, they set themselves into rest mode and get themselves recharged, powerless. They are unstoppable. Like apes they jump, swing and hop all around the house creating mess in and out. The younger they are, the more challenging is to discipline them especially the age group 3-8 years old.
Their transformation from a toddler to a grown up child is challenging. They seek tantrums, learn new things, make demands, becomes observant and eventually nurtures. At this phase one must start teaching discipline and its real meaning to them.
Some days ago, when we seek some guests at home over a lunch, we prepared a food menu full of varieties with starters, main course and deserts and place them on a center table as we decided to have a buffet and enjoy the feast together by serving on our own. A group of 20 people were there including family members, bunch of 6 children of different age from four to seven years, and others.
Everything went as expected. Every one served on their own, ate together with little chatter and music in the background, dispose off their plates in the big bin placed in the corner of the gallery and attained the decorum of the place. Surprise was to see our children being observant and following the same. No mess or chaos was created in the room.
Discipline, doesn’t mean to sit quietly in the atmosphere and make no noise, rather it means to follow and maintain the decorum of the place, be it school, college, office, home or any other. In a student life, discipline is very important for better education. Education becomes incomplete without learning discipline. Discipline helps them to prioritize their work as per its importance.
As said by Theodore Roosevelt, ” The one quality which sets one man apart from another – the key which lifts one to every aspiration while others are caught up in the mire of mediocrity – is not talent, formal education, or intellectual brightness – it is self-discipline. With self-discipline all things are possible. Without it even the simplest goal can seem like the impossible dream.”
How and why is it important to teach a child discipline at an early age? What is the right age to make them understand the term discipline? What values does it hold? How can we up bring a discipline child? Well, there is no set criteria to learn so as it is an observant factor and it imparts in a person as he learns and grow.
Below are the ways how to make a child learn discipline from an early age:
🔴 Understanding the term and its meaning
The foremost thing is to make the children understand the term and its meaning in basic manner. What is discipline? Discipline is a set of rules and regulations to be followed while doing any task, activity or job. We all assign jobs to our kids. Now to make them do so in discipline manner we have to make them understand the depth meaning of the term and its relevance. Make them aware about the consequences, pros and cons which may or may not happen, of performing or not performing the task orderly.
🔴 Creating a comfort environment
An environment, if not suitable will create distractions and children have little patience to deal with so if not found apt. So another basic requirement is to create a friendly kids appropriate environment where they can sense the feeling and importance of their presence. It will help to boost their energies to show their involvement and dedication, in any work, both physically and mentally instead of just being there. So begin with setting up the ambience.
🔴 Set rules
A defined set of rules plays a key role in imparting discipline. Let child know the importance of rules. Why rules and how they are important? A child will understand that importance of following the rules. They will learn that they play the role of judgement and figures out the criteria of biased game. It will also help them to know the importance of equality and being fair. Gradually it becomes a habit of following the rules. Eventually, it will impart discipline in them..
🔴 Begin with you
Another major factor that play essential role in imparting discipline in children is that “It begins with You!” Yes, children are keen observant and they grab those things what they see their elders doing. Let’s them show only what you want them to represent. Role model yourself as a self-disciplined image in their eyes and see the big difference. If they can’t see you as that, you can’t make them as you desire! Anything and everything lies in the scenes behind the camera. Focus that too.
🔴 Moral stories or videos
Things which we see and listen from our own senses leaves an enduring image in our subconscious mind. It remains forever. Reading out good moral stories and showing videos of great values also plays a big role. It will make them aware to understand the difference between of being right and wrong or what is to be done and not to be done. They will not take everything for granted and value its importance.
🔴 Effective communication
A right way of communicating with children in right manner at right time plays an equal important role in imparting discipline in children as the five points said above. Though there is no set criteria to learn this but this is something which can be learnt by observing, experiencing, practicing, being transparent and gaining trust over the period of time. Once set, it becomes your habit and gradually your behavior. Keep it as effective as possible and start practicing in your routine from an early age of development.
🔴 Be open
Children are like open book from an early age of their growth and development. They will learn what they will be taught. So make a choice what to impart in their tiny brains and be open and transparent with them by telling them the reason or logic behind your actions. Win their confidence and built their ability.
🔴 Unwanted restrictions
Nobody likes it when things are constraint to limited actions. So with the kids. Let them be like a free bird, open their wings of mind and aim high to the sky in all that they do. They themselves will know their certain limit. Their vivid imagination is incomparable and look up to them with incredible ideas.
🔴 Find your toddler’s intentions
Toddlers have clear intentions. But they are unable to express them. One must take a pause before reacting to toddler’s behavior. Be curious about why he/she is behaving in such manner. Show them your empathy and let them know that you are “on the same side.” Connect with them before correcting them. They will understand and learn to see the things from different perspective also. Instead of proving their own point of view they will think and understand things better.
🔴 Giving them choices
Create a menu of choices. Surprise them with list of options so they can open up their mind to analyze and decide. This way they will learn to understand what works for them and built the ability to take decisions and set targets or goals for themselves. After all, variety my dear, is the spice of life!
🔴 Be kind and humble
Last but not the least, everyone seeks respect. Give respect, get in return. Instead of ordering and being bossy parents, use magical words like excuse, please, thank you, sorry and welcome! Make frequent use of such words and spark the magic in their little word.
🔴 Use positive language
Using positive language means phrasing your words in something your toddler can do, not something he/she can’t. Better yet, praise them with positive language when you them doing good. Praising them will boost confidence in them. Positive affirmations spread positive vibes in and out. Make a frequent use of such words in daily life.
🔴 Explain the reason
Rather than hearing what to do or not to do, toddlers will be more motivated to comply knowing why they should. Giving a reason takes you out of the equation and focuses on the task that needs to be done. Explain the every small thing with logical reasoning which will also help to built their cognitive and motor skills.
🔴 Praise your toddler
Kids thrive on attention, whether good or bad. The best way to counter misbehavior is to praise your toddler and give them attention. Deep down, kids want to please their parents. Praise them for their each small act and transmit the energy of triumphant in them.
🔴 Give them space
Last and not the least, give your children their own space as to move on their own pace. Each child is different and its own way of learning and grabbing things. Pushing them forward may hamper their level of interests and eventually disrupts their nurture, growth and development. “Do not train a child to learn by force or harshness; but direct them to it by what amuses their minds, so that you may be better able to discover with accuracy the peculiar bent of the genius of each.”
Why discipline is a key to success?
Discipline or self-discipline is one of the most important attribute of your personality. It helps one to lead a successful life. Self-discipline is inherent, it comes from within. People can motivate you but until and unless you yourself put your mind to it, others cannot help you.
Self-discipline comes from the mastery of your thoughts. You need to be in charge of your thought process. It helps you to stay focused in reaching your goals. It pushes you to stay stick to the difficult tasks and not to give up. It also allows you to overcome obstacles and discomfort in reaching new heights. Self-discipline is when your conscience tells you to do something and you don’t talk back.
Discipline lays a good foundation of being selective, independent, punctual, focused, encouraged & organized in life. Self-discipline is very important that lies in inhibiting our headlong desires and passions.
- self management
- self esteem
- self reliant
- stay focused and dedicated
- overcome obstacles or distractions
- believe in inner self
- decision making power
- to be consistent and systematic
- be optimistic
- have positive attribute
Good discipline generates a positive attitude in children which is the most essential thing that children need in their life. Discipline also creates confidence and eagerness in children. Because of these things, children become active in each field of their life.
A self-disciplined person will works out every possible opportunity to make things happen instead of making excuses, blaming others and finding difficulties in every situation. He will keep his moral values high above all the problems and discomforts as he is clear about his vision and goals. In order to accomplish his goals, he will make out the every best possibility and there where lies the key to success.
One should not use discipline as a punishment tool because it can damages an individual and can cause more damage than what you intend to correct. When discipline is used as a correctional tool, it brings out the better version of any individual, group or community. Eventually, discipline becomes part of your routine, and your body becomes acclimated to it. When this happens, we function so effortlessly that we become a machine.
Every individual is built like a computer, and it performs specific functions effortlessly based on the kind of programs we install on it. Unlike the computer, we are never a perfect being, and as such, too high targets should not be set for ourselves or anyone else. Else we will find ourselves falling short of such targets all the time. Discipline should be a tool to bring us back to our target path each time we depart from it.