How To Raise Good And Happy Children (part Two)

We have talked about the difference between punishment and discipline. Now I share some tips on how to raise children with discipline and love, a lot of love.

In the first part of this article that you can find here we talked about the difference between punishment and discipline. Now I share with you some tips that I learned in my own experience on how to educate children with discipline and a lot of love.

There are many ways of looking at education. For many, education simply involves “pouring” information into the student or child. For others, it implies taking out something that somehow is already inside the student. For a long time there was a doctrine that prevailed in education. It received the name of _Conductismo. _ One of its variants proclaimed that there is no soul or consciousness inside man and that, therefore, education was simply to effect a change in the individual’s external behavior. This change in behavior, this teaching, was achieved through rewards, when the child behaved as the adult wanted, and punishments, when he disobeyed. In a way, to educate in a behavioral way is to believe that there is something inside the child that hinders their education, and it must be broken through punishments or bribed through rewards. That “something” is actually called will, or agency. The danger of using punishment instead of discipline is that the child is usually only told what he did wrong, but not explained why it was wrong, or what he should have done instead. This often makes the punishment meaningless to the child or, in any case, he has to deduce what he did wrong.

On the other hand, using discipline properly not only teaches the child how to act but, what is much more important, why it is that he is expected to do or act in a certain way, so that his actions make sense to he and he himself will forge a model of the world and develop their own system of values. Discipline is not so much about rewards and punishments, but more about setting limits. Many times it is enough for parents to learn to say a two-letter word when appropriate: “no.” And that will help the child to feel good about himself, to correct his mistakes and help him to take responsibility for his actions.

Of course, if since they are babies they learn that it is their parents who have the reins firmly in their hands, they will always know that “no” is “no”. And “no” can be very firm and loving. But if your children are older, or teenagers, it will be increasingly difficult for them to understand that “no” is not negotiable. But it is never too late to make them understand that they are minors and that adults must decide some things for them.

For this reason, discipline has to be accompanied by clear rules and precise limits, which have to be explained so that they can be understood by the children. You never have to finish the explanation without first asking if they have understood, and it is even a good idea to ask them to repeat the concept later in their own words. That will give the guideline if they have internalized well what is the limit that they cannot pass. Nothing good can grow in disorder, and discipline helps stimulate children to have concrete goals, to be happy with what they do, and then to be successful in their work or studies.

The absence of punishment makes the children grow up haphazardly. Too much punishment causes them to grow up afraid of life, or learning to hide and pretend kindness; to live a double life. Discipline, on the other hand, helps them grow without fear of failure. That is to say, we start from the idea that in education, very rarely something will go right the first try: there will be some failures and you have to learn to live with a defeat and then get up and continue experimenting with a positive attitude to achieve success. Success, but with patience, perseverance and always explaining the why of things, our children will be able to have the conviction that is required to achieve the results that we think.

Now, if you allow me, I share some things that helped me as a father to educate my children at the time:

Learn to say “no”

Discipline often involves simply saying “no” at the right time, and standing your ground. When the child learns that parents do not change their minds when the child throws a tantrum (tantrum), the parent-child relationship loses much of that power struggle.

Always explain the why of things

When your child knows why it is right to do the right thing, and why it is inappropriate to do the wrong thing, by nature he will seek to do and defend the right thing himself.

There must be consequences

The fact that there is no punishment does not mean that there are no sanctions for undesirable behaviors, or rewards when they do what we expect of them, but that is a consequence of their actions: good education makes children not act out of fear or fear. obtaining a prize.

Responsibility of the children

When there is a need for a sanction, it is a good idea to let your child be largely the one to decide what sanction they deserve. That will help you to be responsible.

Never shoot “cannon shots”

That is, never go from nothing to an exemplary sanction. Always work with tiered discipline.

All for love, nothing by force

To paraphrase some wise words: “No power or influence can or should be maintained by virtue of parenting, but by persuasion, long-suffering, kindness, meekness and sincere love, goodness and pure knowledge, which will greatly ennoble the soul without hypocrisy and without malice … “

Example matters more than words

Never forget it as a parent “your actions always speak so loudly that your children will hardly hear your words.”

Never rebuke beyond your ability to heal

Finally, I share with you the most important advice: Sometimes you have to be tough. Sometimes you have to secretly cry to be firm, but more important than discipline is your relationship with your children. Under no circumstances, never, never, never: Never reprimand beyond your ability to heal.

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