None of us wants to raise undisciplined kids. But we often make compromises and give rewards for behaviour that really doesn’t call for any praise. We do what we have to to make life a little easier. Even if it means rewarding your kid with a cookie for finishing her veggies. But keep up the antics, and pretty soon you’ll have a kid with a serious lack of discipline.
We all want the best for our kids, and we all want their self-esteem to be great, but it’s easy to get blindsided and overindulge without setting proper limits. Here are some signs your kid has a lack of discipline, as well as some ways you can rectify the situation. F.I.Y. none of them involves bribery, name-calling, yelling, commanding, or criticising, so it’s a win-win.
How to rectify a lack of discipline in kids
Problem: Your kid thinks she runs the show.
Solution: You need to show your kid that not everything in life is about her. You need to make your demands, as a parent, factual and rational while keeping discipline practical. Use statements like “it’s bath time now” and “the books belong on the shelve, not the floor”. Your kid needs to understand that discipline is not about her, or anyone else for that matter.
Problem: Your child flips whenever you say “no.”
Solution: You can take the abrasiveness of the word “no” out of the equation to make it easier for your little man to understand. Don’t just say what you don’t want in one word. Try saying what you need them to do, but just in one word. Try something like “Jamie, shoes!” or “Ben, clothes!” This will eliminate those “why don’t you ever listen to me?” conversations you have with yourself on a regular basis.
Problem: Your kid lacks empathy
Solution: Always let your kids know that you appreciate their acts of caring and cooperation whenever you spot it happening. You’d be amazed at how far a little positive acknowledgement can really go. Instead of just focusing on the negative, start looking for ways to praise the good things your kid does on a daily basis.
Problem: Your kid doesn’t care about your feelings.
Solution: Your kid needs to understand that it’s not all about them. Instead of using “you” phrases, try using “I” phrases instead. Like for instance: “I am mad” instead of “you are naughty”. You need to get your child to see that his actions affect your feelings. He needs to understand that you won’t be happily playing along if he hurts your feelings.