Age-appropriate Approach to Disciplining Children
Teaching children about discipline regardless of their age is important to their development. Through discipline, children learn the concepts of "right" and "wrong". But parents need to take the right approach in disciplining their children. This is what is called art in disciplining children because parents need to approach them in different ways, besides that parents also need to be consistent in applying the rules in terms of discipline.
Here are some approaches that parents can take in disciplining their children according to their age:
- 0-2 years old
Children aged 0-2 do all kinds of things that make them curious, such as: holding objects, throwing things on the floor, pinching, and kicking to satisfy their curiosity. Giving punishment will not make them understand that what they did were wrong. We can do an effective way by saying "No" when they do something wrong.
Quoted from kidshealth.org, parents also undergo discipline by way of "timeout". Children who hit for example throwing things or biting should be told why their behavior is wrong. Take them to a designated “timeout” area such as sitting in a chair in the corner of the room for 1-2 minutes to cool down.
Parents also need to remember that at this age children like to imitate the behavior of their parents. Therefore, make sure parents do not give corporal punishment because they will be able to imitate it later on.
- 3-5 years old
At this time children are able to communicate and begin to understand the consequences of their actions. Therefore, the right way to discipline them is to give clear rules and give consequences if these rules are violated.
Make sure parents communicate the rules that have been set at home. Explain to the children what parents expect of them before we give punishment. Parents must clearly provide the rules and consequences. For example: what is allowed and what is not, and what if it is violated, what consequences will be accepted by the child.
- 6-8 years old
At this age, apply clear rules and consequences if these rules are not obeyed. The difference is that children aged 6-8 years are more often opposed. Often he breaks the rules and does not want to follow the consequences set. When this happens, parents must remain consistent with the rules and not give corporal punishment.
Again, consistency is very important. Keep every promise of discipline and consequences we have made. Children will see that their parents mean what they say.
- 9-12 years old
At this time the child is more mature and has begun to understand the rules and discipline that are good for them. Parents do not need to impose sanctions if children are not disciplined, but can allow children to experience 'natural consequences'.
As children grow up, they begin to learn independence and responsibility, and teaching them to deal with the consequences of their behavior is an effective and appropriate method of discipline.
For example, when a child who is in the 6th grade of elementary school does not want to do his homework even though his parents have reminded him. Parents do not need to give sanctions, but allow children to have 'natural consequences', namely being reprimanded by their teachers at school.