Posted: June 15th, 2021

Child Behavior: Goals of Effective Discipline

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Discipline is the structure that helps the child fit into the real world happily and effectively. It is the foundation for the development of the child’s own self-discipline. Effective and positive discipline is about teaching and guiding children, not just forcing them to obey. As with all other interventions aimed at pointing out unacceptable behavior, the child should always know that the parent loves and supports him or her. Trust between parent and child should be maintained and constantly built upon.
Parenting is the task of raising children and providing them with the necessary material and emotional care to further their physical, emotional, cognitive and social development. Disciplining children is one of the most important yet difficult responsibilities of parenting, and there are no shortcuts. The physician must stress that teaching about limits and acceptable behavior takes time and a great deal of energy. The hurried pace of today’s society can be an obstacle to effective discipline. The goal of effective discipline is to foster acceptable and appropriate behaviour in the child and to raise emotionally mature adults.
A disciplined person is able to postpone pleasure, is considerate of the needs of others, is assertive without being aggressive or hostile, and can tolerate discomfort when necessary. The foundation of effective discipline is respect. The child should be able to respect the parent’s authority and also the rights of others. Inconsistency in applying discipline will not help a child respect his or her parents. Harsh discipline such as humiliation (verbal abuse, shouting, name-calling) will also make it hard for the child to respect and trust the parent.

Thus, effective discipline means discipline applied with mutual respect in a firm, fair, reasonable and consistent way. The goal is to protect the child from danger, help the child learn self-discipline, and develop a healthy conscience and an internal sense of responsibility and control. It should also instill values. One of the major obstacles to achieving these goals is inconsistency, which will confuse any child, regardless of developmental age. It can be particularly hard for parents to be consistent role models. Telling children to “Do as I say, but not as I do” does not achieve effective discipline.
Parental disagreements about child-rearing techniques, as well as cultural differences between parents, often result in inconsistent disciplining methods. The physician needs to be mindful of these challenges and suggest steps that parents can take to resolve these differences (1). It is important that in teaching effective discipline, physicians do not impose their own agendas on the families they counsel. A balanced, objective view should be used to provide resources, and the goal should be to remain objective. This means using principles supported by academic, peer-reviewed literature.
This is particularly important when dealing with controversial issues such as disciplinary pking. MEANINGS: Discipline means obedience to a superior authority. Accepting the norms of the family, society, the commands of elders and obeying them is also discipline. Discipline means accepting punishments for violation. Discipline also means training of mind and character, developing self-control and the habit of obedience. In the entire universe, there is an order and discipline. The stars, the planets, the earth on which we live, the moon and the sun we see, move according to a system of discipline.
We can see that plants, insects, birds and animals too observe discipline in their lives, only man who has a thinking mind finds it difficult to observe discipline. Discipline could be divided into two broad categories, external and internal. External discipline is that which is imposed by outside authority. It is often linked with authority and force. Discipline in the army is one such. Soldiers do not have a say in it except implicit obedience. As Tennyson says “Theirs not to make reply. There’s not to reason why, theirs nut to do and die”.
A soldier in a war field cannot ask for reasons. He has to obey commands; otherwise, the war is lost. Our ancient educational system believed in enforcing discipline by force. They used to say, if you spare the rod you will spoil the child. But that view is not correct. It will produce only negative results. That is why discipline has taken a new shape in schools and colleges now. It is call self-discipline. It is discipline by acceptance, not by imposition. We live in a democracy. Democracy is based on the will of majority of its citizens.
It has to be accepted and obeyed. Otherwise democracy loses its meaning and leads to anarchy. Family customs and traditions, laws of the society, and moral and spiritual laws of the religion are all to be obeyed. That is discipline. Discipline demands obedience to commands fro leaders, respect for women, devotion to god etc. Though discipline starts at home, there is much more need for it in schools. Schools are nursing places for various virtues and values. Discipline in the classroom, on the playground and elsewhere in the school is all important.
Force has no place in student discipline. Teachers are to be first disciplined, so one, who cannot control oneself, cannot control others. Students emulate teachers in all ways. It is more so in the matter of discipline. They observe discipline by acceptance not by force. Some argue that discipline limits freedom and that also kills the man’s initiative. This is a wrong view. Indiscipline cannot bring order of growth. Self-discipline or discipline by acceptance is self-control. One controls his emotions and desires and gives room to listen to other’s points of views.
Man has many desires and impulses. If they are allowed free play without discipline, it will end in chaos. Nature and society are best disciplinarians. Violate their laws, and you are in for punishment. Put your finger in fire. It burns, no matter who you are. There we learn discipline by experience. That is why Gandhi has rightly said that discipline is learning in adversity. It is therefore necessary that, if you wish to achieve anything enduring in life, you have to be first disciplined in life. Lack of discipline is like a ship without a rudder.

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