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5 Tips for Teaching Your Child Discipline & Responsibility


Children need to learn the basics of child discipline and responsibility from an early age so that rules and order are established within the household, which can create a more balanced home life. Enforcing limits also teaches kids to be respectful. Good discipline includes structure, communication and understanding, as well as correction.

1. Be Firm and Consistent

Think about how to set reasonable limits, and then explain them so that they may be easily understood and enforced. For example, the rules should be spelled out and specified so that everyone understands what they are. This is important so that the child is not confused and there is no attempt to undermine the rules. It will also aid in getting your child to listen and agree to behave according to the rules.

2. Put Rules in Writing

Write out all of the house rules so that there is no mystery as to what is expected of family members. Refer to the house rules regularly, and post them where everyone can see them. Using a chore chart can also be a great tool in teaching accountability and responsibility, in addition to the encouragement of contribution.

3. Teach Compromise but Give Choices

It is not always possible for kids to tell the difference between the little and larger issues. Therefore, it is necessary to give in on some of the smaller things every once in a while, without violating major rules. This will also give the child a satisfied feeling of being listened to and heard, which could make it easier for the child to go along with following the most important rules and structure.

When a child breaks a rule, ask if he would like to do what he is supposed to be doing or have a time out. In addition, children should learn accountability by making amends for breaking rules, so that there are consequences other than simply taking things away.

4. Hold Family Meetings

Regular family meetings encourage communication between family members and can establish good overall familial strategy for everyone. Use the family meeting to discuss the house rules and work out disagreements or issues that your children may have. Encourage participation and take into account what your kids think and tell you so that it feels more like a democracy than a dictatorship situation. This can also ensure better participation from your kids in running the entire household and gaining the most cooperation.

5. Create and Offer Incentives

The development of the ability to engage in ethical decisions is an important part of child development. Use incentives to encourage kids to follow rules and behave appropriately. For example, if you use a merit system, you can track behavior and attend to rule infractions more effectively.Incentives such as allowance and other perks can be used to teach the core values of behaving appropriately in society, while assisting in having a more peaceful household. In the process, respect and responsibility, essential parts of developing ethical character, can be more easily leaned, for more balanced child development.

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