We need to understand the Styles of Discipline we use. Since the type of discipline you use influences the kind of person the children will become, it is important to keep in mind goals for the children.
So, What kind of discipline style do you use?
Some teachers (and parents) are “extremely permissive” when they have few rules and allow children to do as they please.
The children act spoiled, cranky, whining, very aggressive and want their own way all the time. Are you “extremely permissive?”
Some teachers (and parents) are “extremely strict” when they expect immediate obedience, give no explanation for demands
and sometimes parents use physical punishment. When teachers and parents are “extremely strict,” children are timid, withdrawn, very dependent, rebellious and defy authority. Are you “extremely strict?”
Some teachers and parents are “moderate” when they set limits and allow children to decide within those limits and allow them to make their own mistakes. This allows the natural and logical consequences to do the teaching for them: firmness, kindness, warmth and love. Are you “moderate?”
When parents and teachers are moderate what happens?
• Children are responsible, cooperative, have a good self-concept, and are considerate of others. With either extreme discipline methods, both teacher, parent and child are unhappy. Neither method produces the kind of behavior we want to see in the children. There is a more effective way to discipline children. It is the “moderate” way, the middle road between extreme permissiveness and extreme strictness. This discipline method described as “effective” is the “moderate” style of discipline. It is based on common sense, research and knowledge about how children grow and learn.
Most teachers and parents use the style of discipline that their parents used with them. Our cultures are soaked in from our childhood days. They say, “I turned out OK, so why shouldn’t I treat my kids the way my parents treated me?” Good question! “Our world is different and society is different from the way it was 25 years ago. In the past, we raised children to do as they were told; and this was effective because we were training them to enter a job and stay with it until they retired. Today, however, we are training children for jobs that we don’t even know will exist 5, 10, or 15 years from now. To keep up with these rapid changes, today’s children are going to have to retrain themselves three or four times during their working careers. In order to be successful at this, they will need to believe that most of the solutions to their problems can be found within themselves. They need to know that they can take control of their own learning.
Learning to discipline children effectively is “hard work.” You can’t improve your discipline methods if you do not continue to implement new ideas and then continue to treat the child the same way as you have. For this reason, you need to practice!
However, if you see an example or try a suggestion for several weeks, but it just doesn’t work for you, forget it! All teachers and parents are different and all children are different. What works in one place may not work in another place. However, you won’t know whether or not it will work unless you try it! If one suggestion doesn’t help you, another one may.
Learning to discipline children is a real challenge. When you improve and learn, then half the battle is won. So, you see the children are fortunate to have you as a teacher who is interested in learning more about discipline.
Next week we will look at the word “discipline!”