Many people wrongly associate discipline with punishment and strict rules. In a family, discipline should be aimed to teach responsibility to family members and give them a sense of accountability. At some point, applying discipline in a family will establish self-discipline within each family member. Punishment is given only if a family member routinely neglects responsibility or even openly opposes rules. Without constructive punishment, there will be no growth and poor behaviors won’t change. Discipline should create an experience of growth among family members, especially for children. They need to be involved in the process and learn that every small thing that they do has an impact in the family. So, if they have favourable attitudes and habits, the whole family will benefit from those. When all family members have self discipline and stay in the right track, quality of life will improve.
Parents should define what rule system that they need to implement. Rules should ensure growth, instead of being oppressive. In fact, rules can become a framework of expectation, so the whole family can achieve something when they follow all the rules. The husband and wife might grow up with different set of rules, so they may have conflicting ideals and values when planning a rule system. In many cases, compromises and middle grounds need to be taken. The situation is not acceptable only if parents are no longer worrying about rules and are not really serious implementing rules that they have made. They may return to rules when problems start to occur. When things become more organized, they could start get relaxed and fail to maintain rules once again. When there’s no more responsibility in the family, drastic measures may need to be taken and this won’t be a comfortable thing for any family member.
Effective discipline is needed to make sure that children have proper personality development. Discipline should become a part in any stage of development, even for toddlers. When a young child can start to make a decision and choose what they want to do consciously, parents need to implement the right discipline principles. Obviously, discipline for young children isn’t meant to be strict and authoritarian. They need to understand that discipline is just a part of daily lives. Strength and weakness of each individual also affects in how the person respond and implement the rule system. In many cases, children can get overwhelmed by the amount of things that they need to do. This is especially true if parents are late in planning and implementing rule system. In this situation, parents need to concentrate at one thing at a time. One improvement is still an improvement and it’s a lot better than having no rules in the family.
Discipline should start with parents. It is unreasonable and unfair to expect other family members to have self-discipline, if parents are unable to do something similar. If parents need to change their behaviors, they need to do that. With self-discipline, we have a complete control of ourselves and we are not being enslaved by our simple desires.