child development, Relationships

The Keys to Effective Discipline

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Disciplining a child is one of the most important, yet difficult, roles of being a parent.  Effective discipline teaches a child to be self-disciplined later in life.  It helps your child grow up to be happy and well-adjusted. Effective and positive discipline teaches and guides children, and helps them to feel safe, secure, and valued.

Discipline should be based on a child’s age, development and temperament. A parent’s goals by disciplining their child is to protect them from danger, to help them learn self-control and self-discipline and to develop a sense of responsibility. 

Children should be respectful of their parent’s authority. If they’re disciplined harshly or unfairly, especially if it includes shouting or humiliating, will make it difficult if not impossible for a child to respect and trust their parent.

Parents must be consistent in their discipline. Discipline that’s not consistent is confusing to children, no matter how old they are. If parents are inconsistent in the way they discipline their children, children may find it hard to respect them. It can also indirectly encourage misbehaving and result in confusion and frustration for the child.

Discipline must also be fair.  Parents must make sure that the punishment fits the crime and doesn’t punish too severely or is too lax. The consequences of their actions should be related to their behavior.

In order to discourage bad behavior, give your child choices about what to do. He will appreciate the chance to make decisions. Make sure rules that protect the safety, health and well-being of your child are given top priority.  If your child is irritable, tired or upset, be understanding and try to help calm them. It’s important to keep in mind that bad behavior can sometimes be circumstantial.

Encourage positive behavior in your child by spending quality time alone with your child each day. Give your child hugs, cuddles or a gentle pat on the back, and give praise when praise is due.  If your child is angry or sad, try to understand why.  Teach your child good behavior by setting a good example and behaving properly and appropriately yourself.


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child development, Child's Education, Relationships

Teach your Child to Give Respect and They’ll Gain Respect in Return

grandparents-kids

One of the most important things you can teach your child is respect and the best way to teach respect is to show respect. When a child experiences respect, they know what it feels like and begin to understand how important it is.

Keep in mind the saying “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

Respect is an attitude. Being respectful helps a child succeed in life. If children don’t have respect for peers, authority, or themselves, it’s almost impossible for them to succeed. A respectful child takes care of belongings and responsibilities, and a respectful child gets along with peers.

Schools teach children about respect, but parents have the most influence on how respectful children become. Until children show respect at home, it’s unlikely they will show it anywhere else.

How can you show respect to your child?  If you do something wrong, admit it and apologize.  Don’t embarrass, insult or make fun of your child. Compliment them and let your child make choices and take responsibility. Listen to your child’s side of the story before making a decision on an issue or problem.  Be polite and use “please” and “thank you” when asking them to do things. Knock before entering your child’s room. Keep promises. Show your child that you mean what you say. And give your child your full attention.

And most important, teach your children that respect is earned. Make sure that you are leading by example and modeling respectful behavior. Be a law-abiding citizen. Show concern for your environment, animals and other people.  Openly and honestly discuss exampled of witnessed disrespect.

In addition, teach your child to respect themselves. Self-respect is one of the most important forms of respect. Once we respect ourselves, it is easier to respect others.

Help them set and achieve goals. Encourage honesty and teach them that people make mistakes, and that they are the best way to learn.

Most importantly, praise your child often for good deeds, behaviors or traits, and tell them you love them at least several times each day. You’re sure to raise a child capable of giving and gaining respect.


how to be the most loving parent the smart wayGet a  book by the author Bakshi Sidhu

child development, child safety, family conflict, Relationships

The Importance of Crystal-Clear Rules for your Child

Toddler girl looking through magnifier

The world is a far more scary and complicated place than it was when you were a child.  As a result, it’s imperative that you set adequate yet fair boundaries with your child.  It’s a very important role in your parenting responsibilities. Children must make difficult decisions each day, and if they don’t have clear, firm boundaries set, they may not always make the wisest choice. Limits teach children proper restraint in social and individual activities and provide children with necessary structure and security to assist in healthy development. Setting limits also provide children with guidance before they have an opportunity to get into trouble, thus making them more successful with everyday life.

A child’s age and developmental level needs to be considered when setting limits. All children have a need for independence and individualization; however, they also need structure, security and parental involvement.

It goes without saying that the needs of a 2-year old vary greatly than those of a teenager. A toddler has a strong desire to explore and investigate, but parameters need to be set to ensure their safety while doing so. Teenagers need to be able to be an individual and be independent, but with strong parental guidance and influence, are more likely to make smart choices in difficult situations.

Limits should be discussed and set prior to the situation. Though situations arise that weren’t planned on, daily situations should have set limits and expectations. A teenager who breaks curfew may have the privilege of going out with friends revoked until they learn respect for the rules.  A child who misbehaves while playing with a friend may need to be separated from the fun until they can learn to properly behave.

Children respond in a positive manner in an environment in which they know what to expect and what is excepted of them. A child will be more respectful towards rules and more willing to abide by them if the rules are clear and consistent. 

Additionally, it’s crucial that once a limit is set that they caregiver stick to it.  A child is less likely to try and manipulate a caregiver into changing the limits when their experience has been that there’s no bending on the limits.   And remember, you are the one who sets the limits and lays down the law.  There’s no need to argue with your child.  Be firm and consistent and they are less likely to challenge the rules and will accept the consequences.


how to keep your sleeping baby safeGet a  book by the author Bakshi Sidhu

family conflict, Relationships

The Detrimental Effects of Verbal Abuse and How to Stop the Cycle

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“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me.”

That’s just not true. Name-calling hurts — especially when the person doing it is a parent, a teacher, or a coach. Yelling and screaming might have been the way you were brought up and you might think it worked for you, so why wouldn’t it work for your kids? But did it? Remember how it made you feel. You probably felt belittled, devalued, and insignificant. You certainly don’t want your own children to feel that way.   It may cause emotional trauma that can result in long-term hurt. Among other things, verbal abuse can undermine your child’s self-esteem, damage his ability to trust and form relationships, and chip away at his academic and social skills. Name-calling, swearing, insulting, threatening bodily harm, blaming or using sarcasm are all forms of verbal abuse.

What are the signs that a child is suffering from verbal abuse?  They may have a very negative self-image.  They may commit acts that are self-destructive, such as cutting, hitting or scratching themselves, as well as other reckless and dangerous activities. They may exhibit physical aggression, be delinquent in school, or display interpersonal problems.  They may hit other children, frequently fight with classmates at school, or be cruel to animals.  They may also exhibit delays in their social, physical, academic or emotional development.

Recent research suggests that children who suffer from verbal abuse are highly likely to become victims of abuse later in life, become abusive themselves, or become depressed and self-destructive later in life

It’s normal for most parents at one time or another to feel frustrated and angry with their children.  They may lash out verbally in these instances and say things they later regret.  It’s when these instances become more and more frequent that there is cause for concern.  If this describes you, it’s imperative that you seek professional help to learn more positive, meaningful and constructive forms of discipline, and for help in learning methods to control your anger.  Remember to give yourself a time out if you feel an outburst coming on.  Try to refrain from saying mean, sarcastic or belittling things to your child.  Remember, your child learns what he lives.  Don’t be a bad example and teach him bad behavior early on.

Remember that your child is a precious gift and should be treated with love, kindness, respect and tenderness.  If you exhibit these to your child on a daily basis, they will learn what they live and grow to do the same as adults.


how to be the most loving parent the smart wayGet a  book by the author Bakshi Sidhu

child development

Take the Bite out of your Toddler’s Biting Problem

Mother with her daughter

The majority of toddlers engage in some biting between their first and third birthdays. Probably the most common reason is that it is one of the few ways of communicating that’s effective for them, before verbal skills are developed. However, not all children bite. Some choose other forms of communication, such as grabbing, shoving, or punching.

Another reason toddlers bite is to express frustration, a feeling which is very common with toddlers, because both their communication skills and their motor skills are so limited.

To a young toddler it can be funny to see mommy suddenly bolt upright or for a playmate to start crying. Toddlers may also bite because they’re teething or because they put everything in their mouths anyway, so why not someone’s arm? It could even be something as simple as hunger.

But how do you teach your child not to bite?

Make it perfectly clear that the biting is hurtful and wrong and point out to your child how much pain their biting has caused.  Express that biting is wrong and unacceptable and that neither mommy or daddy like it. 

If you discover that your child is biting out of frustration, try giving them an alternative to express to people they are having a difficult time.  Though language is a difficult task at this age, most toddlers can be taught words that are appropriate for such a situation.  For instance, “You need to tell mommy or daddy that you need help and not bite us,” or “Show mommy what you need, but don’t bite.  You’ll hurt her if you bite and I know you don’t want to hurt mommy, do you?”

Experts agree that parents should try not to give biting so much attention that it becomes an attention-getter. This is true of all behavior that you don’t want to see repeated.  Firmly tell the child again that there is no biting allowed, that it is wrong, and that it hurts people.