Discipline is they key to raising functional happy children. What this means is that parents need to, first and foremost, be disciplined themselves. If a parent isn't disciplined there is no chance of disciplining their children correctly. Discipline should come from natural consequences, or the law of cause and effect. It should not come from induced fear, humiliation, shame, yelling or any form of physical or emotional coercion. Children who have been disciplined correctly have been given loving and firm guidance and they show the following character traits, which last a lifetime.
8 Traits of Children Who Have Been Disciplined
1. Self-Control: Emotional maturity is the ability to delay gratification. This means that the parenting taught them to keep commitments even when they were no longer new or exciting. Disciplined children can commit to doing what is right even when they don't feel like it.
2. Empathy: Disciplined children are able to put themselves in the shoes of someone else's emotional experience which allows them to develop understanding and genuine care. This enables them to be able to help someone from a place of honesty rather than helping someone to meet their own agenda.
3. Motivated to feel good: Disciplined children have been parented to know they are "good," and because of this they are driven, through their own behaviors, to maintain this state of internal well-being. Feeling good is their natural state which they will always strive to regain when their lives bring uncertainty.
4. Responsible: They have been raised to be motivated from within to help around the house, school and in the world at large because they see the value in contributing to the whole rather than just thinking about their own needs.
5. Self-Love: Children who are disciplined have an internal sense of their worth. Their confidence is derived from within and not just from performance or outside validation. They have been loved deeply which makes them see themselves as lovable.
6. Responsible: Disciplined children own up to their mistakes and are more likely to make good choices because they desire to feel good. Accountability is not seen as shameful, but rather as an opportunity to practice being a good person. Responsible children are taught that being wrong in life is ok and a part of the process.
7. Respect authority: When children have been positively disciplined they respect authority, rules and basic moral codes. Respect is a two-way street in parenting. If you respect your children, they will learn to respect you and authority in general. Children need to look up to you, not across at you.
8. Happy: Children who have been disciplined are happy people. They are pleasant to be around and have an easy time making and sustaining relationships. They tend to be liked by all age groups and are the kids other parents wish their kids could be.
Little Life Message: When we discipline our children we show them that we care.
Dr. Sherrie Campbell
Author of Loving Yourself: The Mastery of Being Your Own Person
Previous Articles by Dr. Sherrie Campbell include:
Sherrie Campbell, PhD is a veteran, licensed Psychologist with two decades of clinical training and experience providing counseling and psychotherapy services to residents of Yorba Linda, Irvine, Anaheim, Fullerton and Brea, California. In her private practice, she currently specializes in psychotherapy with adults and teenagers, including marriage and family therapy, grief counselling, childhood trauma, sexual issues, personality disorders, illness and more. She has helped individuals manage their highest high and survive their lowest low--from winning the lottery to the death of a child. Her interactive sessions are as unique and impactful as her new book, Loving Yourself : The Mastery of Being Your Own Person.
She earned her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology in 2003 and has regularly contributes to numerous publications, including Intent.com, Beliefnet.com, DrLaura.com and Hitched.com. She is also an inspirational speaker, avid writer and proud mother. She can be reached at Sherriecampbellphd.com.
Loving Yourself: The Mastery of Being Your Own Person is available on Amazon.com and other fine booksellers.