Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Discipline Without Being A Bad Guy

Are all fathers destined to be the bad guy? Spare the rod, you spoil the child. So a certain amount of discipline is necessary. I do use the cane but I do love my kids. It’s never easy to be a father, that is why we are all learning along the way. I think fathers are sometimes at a disadvantage compared to mothers. When a lady becomes a mother, their mother or female friends will share with them the do’s and don’ts or share with them the failure and success stories. But guys don’t do that as much. Which is why blogs are a good way to share our experiences and learn from one another. We need to build a closer community of fatherhood and stop being too macho to learn from one another.

Here are some basic principles to help us be successful in maturing and guiding our children:

1. Understand why discipline is important
Setting rules and regulations are not meant to instil fear in your child. Instead we are guiding them to understand important principles in life. Certain things can be harmful to others if not corrected. As fathers, it is necessary to remember that no matter how much your child is crying, whining or screaming, discipline is important. Turning a blind eye to things is not the way to solve a problem.

2. Get a partner in crime
This is a tough one. Both father and mother should be on the same side. If the father disciplines and the mother just comforts, you are painting the father as the bad guy. Being on the same page in discipline allows you to establish the consistency in your kids’ life. They will not misunderstand that doing one thing may be wrong in Papa’s eyes but right in Mama’s point of view. Grandparents plays a big part in this too.

3. Always explain the discipline to your child
Discipline is meant to guide and teach the child a life lesson. Discipline is not making them feel humiliated. Which is why I feel discipline should be done behind closed doors and not in public. I’ll put up my hand up to admit I sometimes failed in this. But it is essential that you explain to your child why a certain behaviour or action is wrong. Leadership as a father to your child comes better with respect and love than fear.

4. Follow with love
Never end with your discipline, always end with love. A hug or a kiss. It’s never easy, but we have to try.



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