When most people hear the word discipline, the first thing that comes to mind is punishment. However, discipline involves education, instruction and correction. Positive discipline has 3 important elements. They include:
Discipline should be accompanied with love since you are trying to direct your child to walk in the right way. One way to ensure that your discipline is loving is by giving your child an opportunity to explain himself/herself. You should never jump to conclusions since the situation can be quite different from what you believe. If you suspect that the explanation given is not true, then investigate the matter further to get the truth even though it means you will have to take a longer time to deal with the matter. When discipline is administered after the child has been given a chance to explain himself or herself, you are more likely to get positive results. After listening to your child, explain to him/her why what was done was wrong. Explain the matter mildly; do not shout.
If some form of punishment will be administered, make sure it is reasonable. The punishment should not be light when a serious wrong has been committed and it should not be heavy when the wrong committed is very small. Both will have a negative effect. To ensure discipline is reasonable, you first need to consider the age and maturity of your child. If a 7-year-old child commits the same wrong as a 14 year old, the discipline should not be the same. The younger child is not as mature as the older one and has less knowledge of what is wrong and what is right unlike the 14 year old. Another thing you need to consider is if the mistake has become a habit. If it is the first time the mistake has been committed, then you can explain to your child why it is wrong. However, if the mistake is repeated a number of times, then punishment may be necessary.
You should also consider the attitude of your child and all the circumstances that led to the mistake. Once all of these have been taken into account, then you are more likely to administer reasonable discipline.
This is very important. Once you say no to your child, then you should stick to your decision. When you change your mind, your child may not take you seriously and your discipline will not be effective. Also, make sure that you come to an agreement with your spouse so that one parent does not say yes and the other no. When you stick to one answer, your child is more likely to cooperate with you.