When children misbehave, it can be frustrating, discouraging and exhausting for parents. However, there is usually a reason behind the behaviour. If a parent can figure out what is causing the misbehaviour, they will have more success responding appropriately to the misbehaviour and preventing the behaviour reoccurring in the future.
Why do children misbehave?
* They want to test whether caregivers will enforce rules.
* They experience different sets of expectations between school and home.
* They do not understand the rules, or are held to expectations that are beyond their developmental levels.
* They want to assert themselves and their independence.
* They feel ill, bored, hungry or sleepy.
* They lack accurate information and prior experience.
* They have been previously “rewarded” for their misbehavior with adult attention.
* They copy the actions of others.
Punishment vs discipline
Punishment is a process which focuses on what a child has done wrong. It is based on the idea that you have to make children suffer to encourage them to understand what they have done and discourage them from doing it again.
Imposes external controls on children to change their behaviour.
Assumes that children want to behave well, but need help in understanding how to do so.
Children learn more through co-operation and rewards than through conflict and punishment.
When children feel good, they tend to behave better.
Effective discipline teaches what to do, problem solving, appropriate interactions, self discipline, promotes growth, enhances self concept.
The word discipline comes from a Latin word that means “to teach.” Parents are teachers and the way they discipline their children helps them to learn. Children learn best when they know they are loved and supported.
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