What sort of disciplinarian are you?


What sort of disciplinarian are you?



By Vanessa Beddoe-Sandstrom

 No, I’m not talking about 50 Shades (I couldn’t get past the multi-orgasmic deflowering), I’m talking about the discipline involved in trying to get your offspring to realize that ‘Stop!’ does not mean ‘Please continue that naughty and/or dangerous thing you’re doing.’ 

 
In a desperate Google search for help with my defiant 3-year-old (it’s either that or he’s going free to a good home on Trade Me) I discovered many sites referring to the Three Types of Discipline. Experts (who I am sure are wearing white coats and black spectacles) have identified that these three disciplining styles can have a strong and lasting impact on your child’s behaviour into adulthood (eek). This is it, in a nutshell:
 
The 3 types of discipline
 
1. Permissive Parents
Have few rules
Allow children to do what they like (which is really annoying when their children are jumping on your couch with a glass of orange juice in their hand).
 
2. Strict Parents
Expect immediate obedience (I actually dream of this)
Give no explanation for demands
Are more likely to resort to physical punishment
 
3. Moderate Parents
Set limits and allow children to decide within those limits and make their own mistakes
Allow the natural and logical consequences to do the teaching for them
Are firm, with kindness, warmth, and love
 
And apparently, this is how your children will turn out:
 
1. Permissive parents have children who are:
Spoiled, cranky, whiny and very aggressive, and also want their own way all the time.
 
2. Strict parents have children who are:
Timid, withdrawn and very dependent, or very rebellious and defiant of authority.
 
3. Moderate parents have children who are:
Responsible and cooperative with a good understanding of themselves and who are considerate of others.
 
I so want to be number 3! But surely I am not alone in being all three types of parent, depending on how stressed/pre-menstrual/rested I’m feeling? All I want is for my kids to grow up to be happy in their work and personal life and never go to jail. Which is what frustrates me with so many parenting theories – we’re expected to fit one particular parenting style or our kids will turn out to be robbers or worse, when in reality, most parents take a bit here and there and basically muddle on through and hope for the best. 
 
For example, I love some of the theory behind attachment parenting – my baby sleeps in my bed and I’m quite happy with that, however I’m not so keen on extended breastfeeding (I don’t have anything against it, I just hate my maternity bras and what they contain). Does this mean my children will become boy racers?
 
It’s also very difficult to be moderate when you have three children. I know that my 3-year-old is being difficult because there’s a newish baby about and he’s not getting as much attention as he’s used to. I’d love to be able to sit down with him and read him a book to divert him from throwing stuff down the stairs, but I’ve got a baby who needs feeding and a 6-year-old with chickenpox. I need him to understand that when I say ‘No!’ I mean it, without having to half-heartedly chuck him on time out and then forget and find him up to something even naughtier ten minutes later. 
 
So, in a bid to find some new techniques for dealing with Master 3, I’ve managed to calm down, as well as remind myself that he’s not being defiant on purpose. He doesn’t actually understand what being defiant means. He’s just being three; he’s a bit bored, needs a bit more mum time and is testing boundaries. This doesn’t mean I’ve found the solution, but I do feel less like giving him away, because really, he is rather cute and the stairs look better with pen on them.
 
LINKS
What Behaviour To Expect Of Young Children
The Battlefield of The Mind: Anger and Parenting
5 Useful Discipline Techniques
 

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