How much discipline is too much?
How best to discipline kids is a hotly contested topic among most parents, with some seen as being too soft and garnering disapproval from other mums, while others go too far with hundreds of rigid rules.
Fuelling this parenting debate is Amy Chua's memoir, The Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother - a book that has left many parents questioning their parenting skills.
Nancy Darling, a psychology professor at Oberlin College in Oberlin, Ohio, spoke to WebMD, explaining that there are certain signs to tell parents they are being too hard on their children.
One obvious sign, says Darling, is that parents are setting too many rules. If there are so many rules they are practically unenforceable, the kids are just going to be confused about what they can and cannot do. It is much better for parents to set fewer rules and ensure they are consistently reinforced.
Secondly, continues the professor, making over the top threats in angry moments will be ineffective as parents can only back down, showing their children an inconsistency in their discipline.
"What you have done is make an empty threat, and taught your child to misbehave,” she says. “It's a problem when you can’t back down and know that you have made a mistake because you don’t even believe in what you are doing anymore," she told the news source.
Additionally, it is important to watch which decisions you are taking for your child. It is unfair to make rules about personal issues, such as a new hobby, continues the article.
Parents should also ensure they are putting in the time to help their kids. If children are asked to complete a difficult task, they should work alongside them to help them gain a new skill.
Another sign that parents are too strict is if the kids have stopped bringing their friends round to play. A good level of rules will usually be embraced by children, but when their adults take it too far, it does not create a good atmosphere in which they will want to play and be creative.
Meanwhile, More4Kids has compiled a list of 101 parenting tips to help them fight the everyday battles of parenting. One of the most important rules, says the site, is to actually listen to what the kids are saying as it will teach the children to be more assertive in the future and make them feel like their point of view is worth listening to.
Posted by Sarah Thomas
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