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Effective parents are strong-willed, and do what is best for their children no matter what the children want. A good parent knows how to be compassionate, and explain, but also stand his or her ground. Permissive parents are doing their children more harm than good.
Discipline is not the same thing as punishment. Instead, discipline is the process of teaching children how to behave properly. I think that the following things are the most important.
First, effective parents set clear boundaries for their children. Their children know what is acceptable and whatis not.
Second, effective parents are consistent. They do not say one thing and do another. They do not tell their child, for example, that it is time to go and then let their child continue to play. They say what they mean and stick to it.
Finally, effective parents model good behavior. If they want their kids to behave with respect towards others, they behave that way themselves. That way, they show their kids, rather than telling them, how to act.
Regrettably, I don't think that there can be an answer to this question. Raising children is so divergent that to find "the magic bullet" of an answer is a significant challenge. Different methods work for different parents. I do believe that we can draw some basic elements as to what might constitute effective discipline, or, at the very least, rule out other methods that might not meet specific standards. Experts agree that most, if not all, discipline systems have to be rooted in the following elements:
- a learning environment characterized by positive, supportive parent-child relationships
- a proactive strategy for systematic teaching and strengthening of desired behaviors
- a reactive strategy for decreasing or eliminating undesired behaviors
The need for parents to be vigilant in monitoring such an enviornment is vitally important. This takes on different forms, but children will enjoy the benefits and attributes of discipline when there is a parental presence to ensure the formentioned elements are consistently enforced.
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