Our children need to know they are loved. Part of being loved means you are taking care of them and they aren't being forgotten. Another part of taking care of your children is teaching them. We want to teach them to read and to ride a bike, but something we don't talk about teaching our children is the difference between right and wrong.
One of the main parts of teaching right and wrong is discipline. We need to teach them personal discipline, but we also need to teach them with discipline. If we never actually correct our children, they will never learn to respect others.
Here are four ways to actually teach children the difference between right and wrong while still making them feel loved.
1. Follow through
It's easy to threaten our children when we feel like they are doing something wrong. We want to warn them to stop, and we hope they will stop before we have to punish them. It's hard to follow through. But empty threats only teach your kids you don't mean what you say and they can get away with anything.
Following through can be a hard thing because you don't usually do it. But now is the time to follow through with your rules, even if it means your kids don't get dessert or the new video game. This is one of the hardest parts of parenting because they often start to cry or use the tactics that make you cave. Be strong. Teaching your children discipline is important, and it will bless their lives forever.
2. Give warnings
As you follow through with giving punishment for disrespect and misbehaving, don't be afraid to give them warnings. Because they have received punishments in the past, they will know your warnings are serious and will start responding to the warnings. I usually give three warnings before I discipline for the bad behavior. In time, most kids will stop with one or two warnings.
3. Give consequences
Plan equal consequences to the offense. If you have appropriate consequences to the actions, you won't feel as bad giving the punishments. You don't have to make them excessive, and it will help teach your children when they don't set the table then they don't get desert. If they don't clean up their toys, they don't get to play with them for a couple of days. There are a lot of options for consequences.
The best way to make sure you follow through with disciplining is to plan ahead. Write down what you think is fair and talk through it with your kids and spouse. When everyone is one the same page, they will see it as being fair and respect the decisions.
Talk to your husband and agree on a plan to discipline your children. It's important to be consistent between the two of you. Not only will it help to teach your children that they are equally loved by their parents, but will also save your marriage because you will be united together.
You are a great parent, and you shouldn't be afraid to teach your children. Get the support you need from your spouse and talk to your children. Let them know that a change is coming and that you are serious about helping them become disciplined people. You can do it.
Christa is a part time photographer, part time writer and full time lover of life. She loves eating chocolate chip cookies and singing (but not at the same time). She has her degree in political science.