Thursday, November 23, 2017

Child Discipline is about Relationships

We all respond better to people whom we respect. And respect is easier when we have a positive relationship. Parenting is a long-term relationship. In Western cultures, physically close parent-child relationships can last more than 20 years. 

Parenting won’t look the same when a child is 5 or 15. But two people won’t enjoy a positive life-long relationship that is not built on love and respect.

Teacher-child relationships can last 10-months, which is still a long time. Foster-parent-child relationships can last for years. Other relationship time-frames will vary of course. But all relationships can last a lifetime when adults and children demonstrate love and respect for each other.

If you are a parent of young children in your 20s or 30s, you are probably pretty busy with daily living! You may have had the experience of catching yourself acting or sounding like one of your parents. These moments can help us think about our childhood experiences with discipline and parent-child relationships. What do you want your children to remember about their relationship with you when they are your age?

Holidays are also good times to reflect on the relationships we have with our parents. If they have passed away, we may think back to what the relationship was like. My point is not to dwell on any unpleasant memories but to focus on what we might want to do to ensure our children have a great relationship with us when they become adults.

We have a choice. We can continue to parent in some of the best ways we were parented. And we can choose to parent differently than the way we were raised. But if we don't think about it, we may repeat habits from the past--some good--some not so good. If we want to change, we need to get new ideas from observing others, reliable online sites, professionals, and reading a few good books.

Relationships are about love and trust in so many small ways. Love and trust build respect. As parents, we need to listen. Let children tell their stories even when they are agonizingly slow. When there are a few children, we arbitrate so each child has a voice and equal time. Listening to children is one way to communicate respect.

There are times when we must say no. There are times when children will lose privileges. But the negatives need not be what's typical of a parent-child relationship.

See more about love and respect in Discipline With Respect.


See the website for Discipline with Respect.

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