Instill Discipline

This section may seem obvious, but so much of it depends on the age of your child or children. The main theme of this blog however, is to instill and maintain discipline with your children regardless of what your spouse may do. It’s only natural for kids to try to pin one parent against the other to get what they want. I will not define what boundaries you set for your children or behaviors you approve or disapprove of, but you need to adopt three consistencies:

  1. The boundaries, rules & behaviors have to be clearly established.
  2. They need to be communicated to your kids.
  3. You must hold steadfast.

Positive Outcomes of Instilling Discipline:

Self-Control: Discipline helps children learn to control their impulses and emotions, which is crucial for making thoughtful decisions and interacting positively with others. This skill is important for success in school, relationships, and life in general.

Responsibility: Discipline teaches children to take responsibility for their actions and their consequences. They learn that their choices have an impact on themselves and others, fostering accountability and a sense of ownership.

Respect for Rules and Authority: Through discipline, children learn to respect rules, boundaries, and authority figures. This understanding is crucial for functioning in society and for following laws and regulations as they grow older.

Healthy Habits: Discipline can help establish routines and habits that promote health and well-being, such as proper hygiene, balanced nutrition, regular exercise, and sufficient sleep.

Academic Success: Discipline contributes to better focus, time management, and study habits, which can lead to improved academic performance. Children learn the value of putting effort into their studies and completing tasks on time.

father and teenage son casually chatting on the street bench

Social Skills: Discipline teaches children about appropriate social behaviors, such as sharing, taking turns, and respecting others’ opinions. These skills are essential for forming positive relationships and functioning well in group settings.

Conflict Resolution: Through discipline, children can learn constructive ways to handle conflicts and disagreements, improving their ability to communicate and find solutions in various situations.

Delayed Gratification: Discipline helps children understand that sometimes they need to delay immediate rewards for greater long-term benefits. This skill is essential for setting and achieving goals.

Emotional Regulation: Discipline teaches children how to manage their emotions, leading to better mental and emotional well-being. They learn that it’s okay to feel certain emotions but that they should express them appropriately.

Life Skills: Discipline often involves teaching practical life skills like organization, time management, and budgeting. These skills prepare children for adulthood and help them navigate the challenges they’ll face.

Ethical and Moral Development: Discipline helps children develop a sense of right and wrong, encouraging the development of a strong moral compass and ethical values.

Confidence and Self-Esteem: As children learn to meet expectations and overcome challenges through disciplined effort, they develop a sense of accomplishment, which contributes to increased self-confidence and self-esteem.

This is not a competition between you and your former spouse, nor is it a game to play with your kids. Your parenting skills and techniques, regardless of how strict or lenient you may be, are for their own good. Parents need to teach their children right from wrong, how to be responsible and independent, and how to be caring and kind, among other things. If you become too laxed or inconsistent and allow your children to con you into breaking your own rules, you will fail. If you fail at this, it will have long lasting effects.