All fed-up with trying to get her kids to behave, she let herself fall on the couch; frustrated and helpless; then she turned towards me and said, “How do you EVER get kids to do things without threatening them?!”
I know how she felt; and how every loving parent feels when we have to resort to use pressure for simple every-day tasks. Enforcing discipline and following the daily-routine makes the home a battle ground - it is traumatizing for the kids and the parents!
Although strickness and smacking (that does not cause injury) is one of the methods of discipline, its effectiveness decreases when overdone and thus, should only be used when the issue is serious (like obligatory prayers.) and the child is likely to benefit and learn the lesson – or else, it backfires and makes kids act out worse; rather than better.
…and the most distressing thing is the guilt which stays with you throughout the day.
So, this (adapted) reply (below) by a parenting expert Dr. Laura, gives some pretty practical tips to help you keep calm and take control of the situations when you need not use force.
Though these tips seem overwhelming at first and a daunting task for you as the parent – I’d say it’s worth the effort because kids need compassion and love in order to grow emotionally healthy, and as shepherds; it’s our duty to exert every effort as much as we can to give them the balanced environment they need.
- Shawana A. Aziz