Role of Parents in Disciplining Children

“It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.” :- Frederick Douglass


Discipline means self-discipline, a process by which an individual regulates and manages his/her own behaviour patterns to fit in with his/her own aims and purposes or the needs and requirements of others. Discipline involves character education.

Earlier, an Indian child accepted parental or school authority. To obey was automatic. It is no longer so today. The student has learnt to question, argue and demand certain things. Even at the elementary and secondary levels, the children are apt to ask questions which were never asked before. These questions will have to be answered. He will express opinions with confidence that may shock parents and teachers, but have to be accepted as part of his opinionated development.

Students of today need a different kind of discipline. The discipline that comes naturally to children is the discipline exercised by the group. Incidental discipline, through character building should be in addition to the inevitable discipline of a timetable and curriculum.

Discipline at home may complement or conflict with discipline at school. In the normal circumstances, parents should be supportive of the school systems and both should work on a common understanding. Otherwise, a child will not know what to accept and what to reject.

Purpose of Discipline

Purpose of Discipline:

Discipline includes all those things that we do as parents to teach our children how to make better decisions. Discipline is teaching children how to make better choices about their behaviour. It is also about teaching them responsibility and to think that they have the power to choose how they behave.

Praise and Punishment:

According to Indian culture and heritage, education has nothing to do with punishment. “Spare the rod and spoil the child” is a belief of the past of uneducated and ill-informed people. Today, we should keep pace with the modern trends in child rearing. It is for the parents to judiciously decide when to praise their children and when to be punished. We have to act differently on different occasions. Nowadays, we often see parents criticising their children, insulting them, beating them, starving them or even confining them to a bathroom.

Parents Role in Child Discipline

Emphasise Cooperation, not control:

The purpose of discipline is cooperation and not control. Cooperation means that your children choose or decide to behave because it makes sense and it fetches good and desired results. This is the goal of positive discipline.

Unfortunately, many parents spend hours each day chasing their children around the house trying to make them behave. Discipline should not be a negative force that produces bad or harsh feelings in everyone involved.

Discipline should provide your children with learning experiences.

As the children grow older, we feel that we have less control over their behaviour. Therefore, we must rely on cooperation and trust. Attempts to control teenagers may prove futile most of the time. We must count on them to make their own decisions.

The children, when they’re very young, begin with limited freedom and power. As they mature and are able to handle more responsibility, more freedom is given while still providing definite limits. During adolescence, they become capable of considerable independent decision-making and judgements, but they should know that there remain adult prerogatives to guide them.

Useful tips for Parents to discipline their Children


Useful tips for parents to discipline their children:

“Don't worry that children never listen to you; worry that they are always watching you”. -- Robert Fulghum

∙Be a role model to your children.

∙Discipline is not just punishment but a process.

∙Parent is the child’s first teacher.

∙Focus your attention on the positive aspects of the children’s behaviour to build healthy self-esteem in them.

∙Be strict but positive.

∙Parents need to develop confidence in themselves and their children.

∙Parents should provide every opportunity for the child to develop creative thinking.

∙Parents should trust them and give them liberty to live their individual life.

∙It is very important that you give them your unconditional love, guidance and cooperation and develop a sense of security in them.

∙Successful parents and their children are partners in discipline.

∙Parents should act as a friend and guide, while always being present in times of need.

∙Overindulgence and overprotection from parents will hamper their child’s growth and development.

Children of today are growing up under much different circumstances than what parents experienced. The new generation faces more competition, more powerful peer-group pressure, exposure to technology and immense emotional stress.

This means that good parents are needed more than ever. It means that building lives takes time, tolerance, patience, faith, self-sacrifice, love and hard work. But, nothing is more rewarding than watching a child grow more as a mature and independent kid.

“At the end of the day, the most overwhelming key to a child's success is the positive involvement of parents”. -- Jane D. Hull

Dr. Sreepriya Ashok, Academic Consultant, CEP Global