The debate of the best method to discipline children remains a controversial one across the social, political, and professional fronts of the American community. Discipline in children can be instilled through corporal punishment, non-violent techniques, and non-punitive methods. Corporal punishment involves techniques like spanking of children for their errant behaviors. Non-violent methods on the other side entail disciplinary practices such as grounding, isolation, bribes, scolding, and logical consequences. On the other hand, non-punitive disciplinary method does not employ any form of punishment on the child.
It engages in empathic and positive discipline. Such encompass practices like distraction, time-outs, praise and rewards, modeling, and reason. Proponents of non-punitive form of child discipline claim of its positive impact in influencing the child to effectively appreciate and change from their errant behavior. For them, engaging in corporal punishment serves to stop bad behavior in child for a short term. On the other hand, opponents of non-punitive discipline perceive corporal punishment as an efficient way of instilling positive change in children.
Here, through spanking, fear of being spanked again forces the child to appreciate their mistake and change. All in all, the use of punishment in child discipline compromises parent-child relations and limits the process of instilling long-term positive behavioral change in the child. This paper seeks to identify and discuss the importance of child discipline and various methods of child discipline. The author then gives an argument in support of using non-punitive discipline in ensuring positive discipline in our children. Important of child discipline
Parents are entailed with numerous responsibilities to their children such as provision of their needs. Nevertheless, child discipline remains the most important role of a parent to the child. It is discipline that determines the social acceptability of the child in the society (Kamens). On the other side, realization of sustainable academic and economic status in the community dictates for instilling high degrees of discipline in our children. According to numerous assertions by psychologists, the ultimate character a child is dependent on the surrounding environment.
This is due to the psychological consensus that young children develop their character traits by copying the character traits of the adult figures surrounding them. Parent form the immediate environmental influence to their children. This has the implication that child discipline should be given much consideration as it defines the future character and behavior of the child. Types of child discipline There are three main types of child discipline methods namely; corporal punishment, non-violent discipline, and non-punitive discipline.
Of the three child discipline methods, it is only non-punitive discipline which does not utilize as form of punishment in instilling discipline in a child (Hutchison 57). On the other side, non-violent discipline is different from corporal punishment in that it employees both punitive and non-punitive disciplinary techniques but does not engage in any form of physical punishment. • Corporal punishment Corporal punishment entails the use of physical punishments such as spanking and smacking on children as a correction to their errant behavior (Rice 57).
This child discipline method assumes that children are innocent and pure and thus parents should take the responsibility of instilling positive character in them. To realize this, parents should spank children who proof to be uncontrollable and unreasonable as a way of making them appreciate and pay attention to their advice. However, the debate on the effectiveness of corporal punishment remains a controversial one in the American nation. The existing laws have banned corporal punishment in school, but such practices by parents still remain legal in the US nation.
Opponents of corporal punishment have blamed it for being a less effective form of punishment compared to others (Rice 61). Numerous research findings have closely linked corporal punishment with potential severe misconduct by the victim. This is because it risks instilling a culture of rebellion and parental hatred in the child. Such find poor influence to the development of positive and socially acceptable behavior in the child. According to findings from other research works, corporal punishment fails to take into consideration the psychological state of the child.
True to available psychological principles, some children are born victims of psychological impairments such of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). It is worth noting that ADHD as a psychological condition is characterized with lack of attention, hyperactivity, and impulsive behavior (Baumrind 46). Other common psychological conditions among children are withdrawing and lack of spontaneity. Some children are also faced with the problem of being forgetful or having low evidence of conscience.
This has the implication that the behavior of a child is not only a matter of choice but can be significantly determined by inborn mental attributes of the child (Corsini, and painter102) Therefore, critics of corporal punishment find potential inhuman treatment of otherwise mentally impaired treatment children. This is the underlying reason behind the numerous calls for replacing corporal punishment with other child friendly forms of discipline methods. • Non-violent discipline Non-violent discipline is a child discipline approach which combines both punitive and non-punitive methods.
However, this type of discipline does not employ any form of physical punishment on the child. Proponents of this child discipline method claim that the continued use of a particular discipline compromises its effectiveness in instilling positive behavior on the child. This is particularly true if the method is employed frequently (Hutson 98). Therefore, advocates of non-violent discipline assert that parents should engage in using different discipline techniques depending on the nature of the particular mistake.
There are various approaches to non-violent discipline; all of which are tailored at allowing the child to gain an opportunity to learn and appreciate their mistakes. First is the scolding. Scolding can be understood as the act of condemning a bad behavior in a child. According to numerous research findings, simple condemning statements are enough to punish a child (Douglas 87). However, just like is the case with corporal punishment often use of scolding can develop immunity, thus loosing its effectiveness in disciplining the child. On the other side, scolding might also involve the use of offensive statements such yelling at the child.
Psychological information has sufficiently indicated that yelling is quite destructive to the child as it tends to turn them off. Nevertheless, such could be effective if the parent strives to ensure that the child understands the reason behind the yelling. This has be blamed to the fact that using strong words to a child functions to make them feel powerless and without anybody to associate with in the family. Another form of non-violent discipline is isolation or time-out which involves sending the child away from the group for some time as a form of punishment.
Logical consequences are also applicable forms of non-violent discipline (Waldman 123). This entails punishment of denial of the artificial things that prompted the mistake. A good example of the discipline technique when a child fails to finish a home assignment due to playing football and the parent keeps the ball away from their reach. By this, the child is inconvenienced and thus forced to appreciate their mistakes. Some parents usually give their child a bribe as an incentive to force them from a bad behavior. By definition, a bribe is any material thing given to somebody by another demanding a favor in return.
Despite the fact that this method is usually an effective one, it has received critics that it acts as a system of rewarding unethical behaviors (Pantley 102). In addition, it has been claimed that continued use of this method might prompt the child to be requiring rewards for their positive behavior. Grounding is a form of non-violent discipline which involves restricting the movements of the child from home such as visiting friends. • Non-punitive discipline Non-punitive discipline is a disciplining method which does not employ any form of punishment.
In this method of child discipline, there is need for a strong relationship between the parent and the child to ensure effective communication (Kamens). Communication forms the core of non-punitive discipline as the practice is mainly defined as giving a loving guidance to the child. Therefore, a strong relationship will allow the child to gentle advice rather than waiting for scolding or corporal punishment. In addition, non-punitive discipline eliminates the problem of addiction to rewards as a drive to behavioral change. Non-punitive discipline encompasses a number of techniques.
Distraction as a method of non-punitive discipline is defined as the act of stopping young kids (typically below the age of three years) from adopting a certain bad behavior (Hutchison 143). This is commonly achieved by moving the child away from the environment influencing the problem. The reason why distraction is best effective for young kids is due to their short memory span which makes them forget the behavior as they grow. Moreover, the distraction method claims that punishing a child who as a short attention span is inhuman as they lacked the capability to make a deliberate decision to misbehavior.
The other method is time-outs which are aimed at giving a child time to clam down from overexcitement. This method works from the theory that by giving the child to calm down without distraction, the child gains by learning self-control (Baumrind 67). As used in non-punitive discipline, praise and rewards methods entails use of encouraging words and provision of intangible rewards to the child such as spending time together as an effective appreciation to their positive behavior. This serves the ultimate role of eliminating the use of bribe to trigger behavioral change in kids.
Further, psychological evidence indicate that most ignored children engage in bad behavior to gain the attention of their parents, a factor which is eliminated by the praise and reward technique. Another non-punitive discipline method is the natural consequences which involves providing the student with the opportunity to learn from their own mistakes. As an example, a child will feel pain for not playing after carelessly damaging their toy. By saw doing the child will be instilled with a long-lasting memory of caring for their items.
Based on the principle of cause and effect, young child might not learn much from this method but its effectives grows with increase in age (Kamens). Parents can also engage their child in a democratic scenario as a way of nurturing their internal discipline. To achieve this, child should be given some level of freedom of expression rather than to be governed by dictatorship authority in the family. Other methods used in non-punitive discipline are modeling and reason. Reasoning as a form of child discipline is commonly effective from the age of four years.
This involves the use explanation on the potential risks that might befall the child upon doing a given act. For example, the parent could tell the child that if they play with the knife, it could cut them (Douglas 69). To expression reasoning, the child will then be shown how best to handle the knife. This makes the child informed while avoiding frustration as well as strengthening the relationship between the child and parent through communication. On the other side, modeling is one of the most effective discipline techniques.
Here the parent is entailed to constantly show the child the kind of life they should leave while making sure that they do not engage in other behaviors (Phelan 98). This makes modeling quite demanding to the parent as they have to keep close eye on the conduct of their children. The method enjoy the advantage of ensuring that the child learns faster from what the parent has shown than if they were to learn from punishable mistakes. Nevertheless, this form of transferred parental perfection can greatly harm the child in the event that the parent engages in errant behavior or actions.
To resolve this, parents should not their mistakes but rather talk about them and strongly pay the costs associated with the error. Argument for non-punitive discipline as the best form of children discipline Non-punitive discipline is the best model of child discipline due to a number of reasons. First, this method of child discipline serves to eliminate the inhuman claims associated with corporal punishment. Most people in our society do assert with the fact that corporal punishment or setting disputes physically is a contradiction to the principles of morality (Phelan 154).
This can be event from the numerous court case reported concerning violence. On the contrary, people do not seem to appreciate that imposing physical punishment on child should be a moral question. It negates their right to fair treatment, thus an empathic and positive discipline approach should be employed as it protects children from inhuman treatment. Another reason why non-punitive discipline should be supported is that it promotes understanding of the psychological factors affecting individual child.
According to available psychological evidence, some kids in the community are marked with numerous forms of psychological impairments which limit their rationale existence in the society. Such impairments include attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Children suffering from this condition are marked with low attention span, forgetfulness, hyperactivity and impulsive behaviors. All this characterized indicate that the kids are prone to misbehavior which they hardly had self-control of (Baumrind 78).
This means that non-punitive disciplinary approach is better since parents engage in understanding their children and trying to model their behavior from different perspectives depending on the underlying situation. Compared to non-violent discipline, non-punitive approach enjoys the advantage of mitigating giving of tangible rewards to initiate change of behavior. According to available literature, giving gifts to children to trigger behavioral change brings short-term benefits. In the long-run, children tend to become more dependent on the gift to even require reward for their good behavior.
However, the praise and rewards technique in non-punitive discipline involve giving the child encouraging words for their good behavior and providing them with intangible rewards such as spending some time with them. This is instrumental in eliminating the problem of addiction to bribes while promoting elf-control in the child. The sole purpose of a parent is to promote love, communication, and understanding with their children. This is quite important in ensuring sustainable social development of the child. Different forms of punishments have been blamed for instilling sense of fear and turning off in child.
This has the implication that punishment is detrimental to the social life of the child. In extension, such could also be blamed for poor academic and thus economic achievements by the children (Corsini, and Painter 117). Therefore, methods of non-punitive discipline should be encouraged to those involving any form of physical or psychological punishment of the child. Conclusion It is established that child discipline can be realized through three main methods. These are corporal punishment, non-violent discipline, and non-punitive discipline.
Corporal punishment involves imposing physical punishment to the child for bad behavior. Non-violent discipline on the other side employs both non physical punishment and other practices to instill discipline in the child. Non-punitive discipline entails the use of love and communication approach to correct behavior in child. This allows the realization of sustainable modeling of the child behavior. Thus, non-punitive discipline should be encouraged as an effective child discipline method. Works cited Kamens, Christopher. “Child Discipline Methods that are Effective.
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