Disciplining children is not easy and it seems that since many times the mother is with the kids more than the father, a lot of it falls on her. However, the father needs to know how to discipline his kids correctly too, so they can grow up to be polite children. The following are some mistakes that fathers sometimes make that you should be aware of so as not to make them yourself.
Bribery. Many times a father will make the mistake of telling their child that if they stop doing something, or if they clean their room he will give them something in return. This is not helpful for the child. What is does is teach them to act badly so they can get something. This is just the opposite of what you want to teach them. You want to teach them not to do the behavior in the first place. Rewards should never be given for bad behavior.
Losing Control. Depending on how serious the child has misbehaved or how worn out you are, you may be tempted to lose you temper and not handle the situation in a calm, well thought out manner. This is, as you may realize, a big mistake, because yelling, screaming, or any out of control behavior only teaches your child that this is acceptable behavior. If you feel like you are going to get upset count to ten before you reply. If need be, have the child go to their room so you can cool down.
Confusing Roles. Don’t negotiate the punishment with the child or feel like you should be giving them a choice of punishments. You are the parent and what you say, goes. If you waver at all this will be confusing to your child and they will try to negotiate in the future. Remember you are the parent.
Getting Physical. Grabbing a child, jerking them by the arm or spanking them is ineffective at best and may be seen as abuse by others. Your job is a teacher, not a punisher, so remember this when you hand out punishment. Make sure you learn alternative methods so you can be effective.
Not Being Consistent. Don’t mete out different punishments at different times for the same offense. If you make your child do dishes for missing his chores, and then the next time ground him for a month for the same offense you will only confuse him. You should have a set standard of behavior and what will follow if he does not follow accepted behavior.
Don’t Let Them Play You Against Mom. You and your wife need to be on the same page with the degree of punishment. She needs to support your punishment and you, hers. If a child learns that they can go crying to the other parent and get a more lenient punishment, then your punishments will never be effective. Your child has the rule here and not you. If need be, sit down with your wife and discuss what you are both comfortable with as a punishment.
Don’t Compare to Others. The worst thing you can do is compare the child to another one of your children or another friend or neighbor. Your child is an individual and you need to treat them as such. This will only create resentment between this child and the others.
Don’t Lecture. Chances are your child will not listen to your monologue and they will only resent you. Save your voice. Try a more effective punishment.
Don’t Pull the Guilt Trip. Telling your child how hard you work for him and how many nights you have stayed up to make sure they are all right will not work either. When you do this, you are making the child codependent by making them feel responsible for what happens to you. We all know this is not the case.
Love them and only punish them when they really need it. Make the punishment one that will work so that the child will learn.