March 4, 2012 National Nannies

To be clear when I refer to strong discipline I do not mean any type of corporal punishment.  Kids when I was growing up could be disciplined by any adult that saw them doing something wrong.  If you were bad at school you were sent to the principal to get a spanking.  And they usually used a paddle to do the spanking.  If your neighbor saw you and your brother fighting outside they could come and grab you both by the ear and give you a stern talking to.  Times have changed and it has gone in the opposite direction.  Now parents are afraid to punish their child for fear someone will turn them in for abuse.  A teacher wouldn’t dare lay a finger on your child for fear you’d sue them.  Kids are getting away with everything these days and we’re not doing them any favors by letting them run roughshod over us.  Check out 10 reasons strong discipline is important for kids.

  1. Kids need limits: It’s part of growing up to push the limits.  If there are no limits to push then the kid just goes crazy. While the child may not realize that they need limits they do.  They need to know what time they are supposed to be home.  When they are supposed to go to bed.  How much they should be snacking.  Without limits kids are just adrift. 
  2. Disciplined kids grow up to do better in school:  There will be certain expectations put on your child when they go to school.  If your child has had little to no discipline at home then it will come as quite a shock to them when they are expected to sit in a room and learn all day.  Kids that already know discipline will be better able to adapt and they will do better in school.
  3. It lets them know you care: If you are too busy doing your own thing to discipline your child what makes you think they will have any respect for you?  Will they feel like you don’t care about them because you can’t be bothered to show up and act like a parent.  If disciplining is done in a positive loving manner kids will know that you care about them when you discipline.
  4. Allows kids to know they have control over their actions: When there are limits set and consequences for their actions then kids will have the tools to make decisions that affect their lives.  They will have control over whether they get in trouble or not.  When you discipline it’s important to be consistent so kids can count on what will happen if they do something wrong.
  5. Teaches cause and effect: When kids know that there will be consequences for their actions this teaches them that they decide what happens.  If they don’t do their homework then they will lose privileges to play with their friends or to play on the computer.  They choose their behavior and therefore they choose their punishment.
  6. Responsibility: Kids will be more responsible if there are clear expectations.  When you let your child know how you expect them to behave then that is passing along wisdom from you.  Knowing how to follow the rules will make them more responsible adults.
  7. Accountability: When your child is held accountable for their actions then that makes them be more accountable in life.  If you aren’t giving 100% on the soccer field and you find yourself on the bench you will learn that you need to be accountable to yourself and to your team.  If not, then you will find yourself sitting out of the fun.
  8. Sets boundaries: All discipline sets boundaries of what kids should and should not do.  Should you hit your sister in the head with a bat because she said something that made you mad?  No, and if you do you will be punished.  If something was said then it needs to be discussed in a cool and rational manner.  No violence needs to ensue.  You do not go into the street because you could get run over.  Boundaries can be physical, monetary or emotional.  If you set boundaries for them they will be able to set them for themselves in the future.
  9. Mutual respect: If you are clear in what you expect from your child and you are clear about what the penalty will be for not obeying then you are showing respect for your child.  That child will also respect you in the long run.
  10. Strong moral compass: Your child will develop a strong moral compass as long as you share your morals with them.  Let them know what is right and wrong.  How you expect them to act and behave.  When they know that and then do it they will develop character and strong morals.