Disciplining a child can be a harrowing experience for both parents and caregivers. It is confusing to know how much is too much or if the discipline is not enough. This leads to parents questioning their own disciplining choices. To further convolute the problem, each child is different and the circumstances in each situation may vary.
Disciplining can be a daunting task!
Usually, new parents will mimic the disciplinary practices of their parents when they seek advice on parental directives. It can be acceptable or not, doesn’t matter to them. However they were disciplined as a child is considered ‘normal’ to them and if it crosses the line, they may believe it is one of those topics that you don’t talk about in public. This generational cycle can be abuse or neglect and is very dangerous when not addressed.
When parents become unclear regarding the specifics of disciplining their children, usually they resort to how they themselves were disciplined as a child growing up. Some parents will avoid making the same mistakes their parents made at all costs but unfortunately, go to the extreme opposite. They will use their parents’ discipline as an example of what NOT to do at the expense of over-compensating. They may even feel afraid or feel guilty at the slightest disciplinary action.
Contrarily, other parents will continue the unscrupulous disciplining practices of THEIR parents whether it’s acceptable or not in today’s society. This type of parenting is what they are accustomed to, therefore they continue what they learned from their parents (generational cycle of abuse).
I would strongly suggest to avoid harsh discipline and administer a gentle guidance to teach the child socially acceptable behaviors in a nurturing, loving environment. All children need this guidance and to withhold it can be viewed as a type of psychological/emotional neglect.
Just remember, raise your child in a manner that you would want him (or her) to treat you when you are old and frail. If you raise your hand to your child (hit your child), this is what you are teaching him so expect him to treat you in the same manner when you are older and vulnerable. This is a part of the generational cycle of abuse.
For more information on appropriate discipline for your child, visit KidsHealth.org.