When an effective teacher begins a class, they always start with setting class rules: No eating in class. Raise your hand if you want to speak. Give others a chance to talk. Don’t go out of the classroom without permission.
Setting rules is important because it sets expectations. For example, the children are not shocked if the teacher reprimands them for chattering loudly in the middle of a math lesson. They then try to put effort into paying attention or, at least, keep from distracting their classmates.
We parents may not think this is relevant to us, but it’s also an important rule to apply to parenting.
A Word on Discipline
Discipline may be scary, both for us and for our children. However, keep in mind that if you don’t manage your child’s behavior while they are young, they will have plenty of trouble managing it when they’re older and you’re no longer around. A concrete example is that if you don’t enforce limitations to the amount of sweets that they consume, they will keep on consuming large amounts of it, resulting in a plethora of health problems.
The rules that you set for your child when they are young are key to the rules that they set for themselves in a future. If you discipline your child to study their lessons regularly, they will be far more disciplined with both their future studies and work.
You may be familiar with the saying, “old habits die hard.” Once your child develops a bad habit, it’s going to take them a ton of effort and tears to break it in the future when they really need to. Thus, it’s important to give them a head start with good ones.
Questions to Ask
There are three basic questions you must be able to answer at all times: Where is my child? Who is with my child? What is my child doing?
You do not need eyes at the back of your head or your child’s guardian angel constantly whispering in your ear to answer these questions. Your child’s movements are fairly predictable, whether they’re at school with their teacher and playmates learning science, or at the kitchen with their cousin having milk and cookies.
Being aware of the answers to these three questions allows you to monitor your child’s well-being. It also ensures that you know that they’re following the rules that you’ve set.
Remember, consistency is key to developing both discipline and an excellent relationship with your child. And the only way to develop this consistency is to set the tone at the beginning and be sure to follow through no matter what.
It may be rough, but ultimately it will make both you and your child better people.
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