Baby Development

Discipline in children

Discipline in children

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Many families with young children often ask this question, and as an answer, they want to hear that discipline is not actually necessary for this age group. Istanbul Parenting Class Development Specialist Psychologist Sinem Olcay will explain the necessity of discipline in the 4-week series.

Many families with young children often ask this question, and as an answer, they want to hear that discipline is not actually necessary for this age group. Parents in this approach believe: 'If I love my child, show understanding and be sensitive to him, he does not need discipline because children who behave in this way are naturally loving and adapt themselves to the wishes of the parent'.
Unfortunately, raising children is not that simple. Our children are not our copies. They have their own wishes, needs and even plans, and often these demands are not compatible with the acquisition of the whole family. Young children need to see the parent's reaction to find out whether a particular behavior is acceptable or unacceptable. As our child grows up, he will definitely need our affectionate side and discipline side in order to develop socially and emotionally healthy.

Discipline is the way to teach the child internal control. The correct discipline method differs according to the developmental level of the child. For younger children who cannot speak or speak very little, it is more beneficial for the parent to intervene in the situation, rather than verbal discipline, to discontinue behavior or to shift in another direction. For older children with improved speaking skills, internal control is greater, and for them it is a more ideal form of discipline to be spoken orally what they can and cannot do. In fact, even children aged 3-4 or older can sometimes push the limits too much. Direct and stable intervention of the parent may be necessary from time to time even in this age group.

We can look at real-life examples to understand how the right form of discipline differs according to the child's age-related developmental needs:

14-month-old Efe is a very active child who wants to explore everything around him. Eating the soil in the pots standing in the living room, putting it on the electric socket, opening the cabinet under the sink and overturning the trash can, doing research inside, curiously examining every garbage he finds on the floor and taking it to his mouth are the things that Efe frequently does.
In fact, there is no moral error in Efe's actions, but as a result these behaviors are dirty, destructive and dangerous. Efe's family has done everything they can to make the house secure, but Efe always finds something new to confuse. This process is very challenging for many families. Every time the family encounters a child's misbehavior, he or she must say 'no' decisively and direct the child to the appropriate things.

Most of the time, the child seems to understand nothing from the boundaries and directions, but each trial actually contributes. Soon Efe will pause as he approaches the forbidden target and begin to check the parent's expression before continuing. All of this shows that Efe remembers his parents' prohibitions and directions, and these recollections have begun to dominate the urge to do whatever he wants.

Although this process will continue for a longer time, Efe has started to lay the foundations of what we know as conscience. The process of internalizing righteous behaviors for children begins by following external commands of what is right.

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