All parents, whether they are single parents or two working parents will encounter times when their parenting skills are lacking and the children are experiencing discomfort due to lack of discipline. But before we tell parents to go crazy in disciplining their children and provide them with smelly clothes, we need to look at the role of parents in child-rearing and the value of discipline.

Discipline is the process by which you used to set up boundaries that will enable your child to realize that he or she has a right to behave in a certain way. We set out boundaries to make our children accountable for the way they behave. We also set out boundaries to help them understand the consequences that will be involved when they cross the line. There are many forms of discipline and parents may vary in their understanding of what is appropriate for each.

When considering how to discipline your child, it is important to check your state’s requirements for discipline. There is a lot of pressure on parents to conform to parenting styles promoted by national institutions like the American Academy of Pediatrics. So, while parenting styles may vary, there are some forms of discipline that should be considered. Among these are the following:

The consequences of non-compliance are all about the seriousness of the infraction. The more serious the infraction, the greater the penalty, whether verbal or physical. For example, if a child drinks alcohol at an outdoor party and his or her mother or father goes to the home to correct the behavior, the parent will most likely give the child an uncomfortable experience.

If a child is not able to follow the direction, the parent can give him or her a punishment (i.e. expulsions, suspensions, or time-outs) to prove to the child that he or she failed to do what was expected of him or her. This is known as social learning.

Parents in the same family and in the same parenting style usually have similar expectations and provide similar punishments. However, there is usually a difference in the way the parents discipline their children. Some people rely on one form of discipline, while others choose another.

Controlling parents have learned to instill obedience and discipline from a very young age. Their child tends to be self-reliant and independent. They are well aware of the differences between being a follower and being a leader.

Parents who are not controlling will have less need to control their children. They feel that they can afford to be more lenient with their children. They are confident that if their children are being disobedient, they will be punished and that their children will respond positively to this rather than having a difficult time with their parents.

Parents who know what their children want but can’t seem to get it can take a cue from their children and start taking control by creating their own set of parental rules. In doing so, they give their children an opportunity to influence them, although the parents should be consistent in their rules. Because of the importance placed on their rules, parents need to be very careful not to cross the line and to recognize that their children can and will change.

Not all parents make their parental rules as rigidly defined as parents who are very controlling. Some parents are very flexible when it comes to their parenting style and know what it is that is acceptable and what is not, while other parents feel more like they are making a “signature” rule.

If parents find that they are unable to get the discipline that they need from their children, they may consider giving them a time-out. A time-out is when the parent gets his or her child to sit in a designated area for a period of time without saying a word.

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