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Volume 01 Issue 01: Ending Discipline Times with a Positive Conclusion.

Sometimes as parents we feel that once we have given a consequence for a child’s misbehavior, our job is finished. I often told my daughter that I was upset with her and kind of fumed at her and she would look so sad and keep asking, “mummy, are you happy with me?”

I have learnt that discipline is not complete until the relationship between the parent and the child is restored. The child needs to understand what they did wrong, but also feel the unconditional love and acceptance from the parent.

There needs to be a positive conclusion (through a discussion) for discipline to be constructive. Express love, forgiveness and acceptance during the discussion and end the discipline time on a positive note. This can consist of 3 questions and a statement;

Question 1: What did you do wrong? Ask in a gentle way, not accusing. This allows the child to admit wrong, take responsibility and demonstrate sorrow for it.

Question 2: Why was that wrong? Use this to address heart issues directly, pointing out character qualities like pride, selfishness, anger or disrespect.

Question 3: What are you going to do differently next time? Once the child realizes why the behavior is wrong, this question helps to clarify what should be the proper behavior.

Statement: Finally, always end with an affirmation. Give the child the encouragement to try again. A child needs the opportunity to say, “I was wrong, please forgive me,” and then feel forgiven.

Lillian Chebosi