Discipline and Firm Love
Why do parents need to discipline?
The aim is to empower children to develop self discipline and fit into the World. Most children thrive in a family where they are loved and respected. Ensuring that discipline is part of this actually shows you care. As Dr. Spock says, “a child thinks: how bad do I have to be before someone cares enough to stop me?”
Where do I start?
With goals or family values. What is really important to you and your family? For example, these may be around mutual respect, being allowed to be an individual or knowing the difference between good and bad.
There is a lot said about “management style” do parents have a style?
The optimum style is to be clear about what is expected and when something is important and when it is not. Steve Biddulph talks about aiming for a style that combines setting of limits balanced with love. He calls this style “Firm Love”.
What everyday things help me to adopt this style?
Being consistent and following through. Don’t say no unless you mean it; teaching and guiding children about how to express or show their feelings; spending time with our children helps them know we value them; touch and body language are also great ways to show approval, support and security.
Where does punishment fit in?
As a last resort most would say. If it is needed make sure it is immediate, brief (no TV for half an hour not three weeks) and fits the crime. Also remember that you are punishing their behaviour not them