Parenting - Discipline and Guidance
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GRADE LEVEL/SUBJECT: 9-12, parenting
What to do about nurturing human development.
What should be done about parent-child relationships?
Discipline and Guidance.
DESIRED RESULTS FOR LEARNERS:
Students will understand the role of discipline and guidance in their own lives and become better able to appropriately guide and discipline young children.
1. Consider the desired results of being disciplined and the benefits to parents, children, and society.
2. Understand that different families, cultures, and ethnic groups may have different behavioral expectations for their children.
3. Understand that individual differences, situations, and circumstances will determine the most effective guidance techniques.
4. Examine some alternative approaches to these desired results.
5. Analyze the consequences of various approaches to developing disciplined individuals.
e. Logical and natural consequences
g. Positive reinforcement
i. Behavior related to ages and stages.
The teaching and guidance aspects of parenting are perhaps the greatest concerns that caregivers have in adequately performing their duties. The issue of how to provide adequate and appropriate discipline in guiding children's growth and development is of primary concern to parents and others who care for children. The meaning of discipline is frequently misunderstood and commonly used uncomfortable with the word discipline because it recalls resentment and frustrations from their childhood.
The term discipline is derived from an old English word and means "to teach or train." Discipline is teaching children the rules people live by and to become socialized into their culture. It is one of the primary roles parents assume in the socialization of their children.
Socialization is a lifelong process and includes helping children learn to control their impulses and to acquire the social skills that will allow them to participate actively and fully in family life, work roles, and interaction with other people. Discipline, therefore, is learning how to live in a social world.
The short term goal of discipline is to control a child's behavior while explaining what is appropriate behavior on a daily basis. However, the long term goal is to teach self-discipline and to help children take responsibility for their own behavior. This goal of self-disciplined individuals helps create a harmonious society. When the important aspects of a child's life and behavior are regulated by other's he or she will see no need to learn to control themselves since others do it for them.
Punishment may restrain a child temporarily but it doesn't teach self-discipline. Punishment may make children obey the orders that are given, but at best it will only teach an obedience to authority, not a self-control which enhances their self-respect.
Discipline is a long term process that gradually leads to a child becoming responsible for his own behavior; s/he cannot learn self-control before s/he is mature enough to understand why it is necessary ability to acquire. Teaching self-discipline requires time, patience, and respect for the individual. The process can begin at a relatively early age, but cannot be stabilized before a child can reason on their own.
Self-control is based on the wish to act on the basis of one's own decisions, arrived at through one's own deliberations.
Children's misbehavior is caused by a variety of reasons. It may mean they are still learning the difference between right and wrong. It could mean they are upset, discouraged, or feeling rejected. It could also mean they are testing the limits or simply "acting their age." Often times what parents classify as "misbehavior" or "problem" behavior is merely an inevitable part of a child's normal development. It is frequently time limited and associated with certain transient periods of behavior.
The Gesell Institute of Human Development has identified a rather distinctive sequence of behavior stages which seem to occur re behavior, each age level has its own positive aspects but each also brings with it some undesirable behavior. There are some ages when the child seems to be in a stage of equilibrium, both with him or herself and with the people in his or her world. In contrast, there are alternative stages of disequilibrium when he or she appears to be unhappy, confused, or out of sorts (Ilg, AMes & Baker 1981).
Being aware of these cycles should help parents choose discipline and guidance techniques appropriate for each age and stage of development. The following table illustrates these age changes:
2 5 10 smooth, untroubled
2 1/2 5 1/2 - 6 11 disturbed, troubled
3 6 1/2 12 well balanced, happy
3 1/2 7 13 emotional instability, drawing inward
4 8 14 expansive, outgoing
4 1/2 9 15 troubled, less outgoing
It is important, however, for parents to understand that even though children follow a distinctive pattern that flows from one stage to another, they vary at the time in which they reach and leave each stage. Each child grows in his or her own way and progresses according to an individual internal timetable in intellectual, social, physical and emotional steps. Skills that come easily and early to one child may be difficult and come later for another child.
Each family will need to develop its own childrearing values. No one is able to produce a system of discipline and guidance that will work effectively in all families. Personalities, family background, values, and goals will influence the child rearing philosophy and methods adopted in a given family. It is helpful for parents to adopt a consistent plan of action for discipline to operate effectively and function for the benefit of all family members.
A parent will make decisions about their parenting patterns and attitudes based on their own socialization and past experiences.
Developmental psychologist, Diana Baumrind of the University of California at Berkeley, has been studying the effects of various methods of discipline since 1960 (Mawhinney and Peters, 1986). She has investigated parent's childrearing styles by interviewing them and by observing how they reacted with their children in real life situations. In this process she identified three major patterns of childrearing.
The first childrearing style is called Authoritarian -- old fashioned strictness. Authoritarian parents follow the "traditional" viewpoint: obedience is viewed as a virtue, and conflicts between child and parent are met with punishment and force. The child is expected to do what the parent says without argument.
The second childrearing style is called Authoritative - sometimes referred to as Democratic. Authoritative parents, like Authoritarian ones, believe in firm enforcement of family rules, but there is a difference: Authoritative parents give their children the reason behind their decisions a permit verbal give and take. They listen to their children's objectives and take them into consideration, but the final decision belongs to the parents. The children are encouraged to be independent.
The third type of parenting is called Permissive. Permissive parents behave in a kind, accepting way toward their children and demand very little of them. Their children are given as much freedom as possible and the parents see their role as helping or serving their children rather than the opposite. Baumrind found few differences in her studies between the children of Authoritarian parents and the children of Permissive parents. Both groups of children were less motivated to achieve and less independent than the children of Authoritarian parents. In contrast, the children of Authoritative parents were responsible, assertive, self-reliant, and friendly (Harris & Leibert, 1984)
Our current ideas of the nature of parent-child relations have evolved over time and are frequently reflective of the changes taking place in society. Societal changes affect changes in the functions of families within society and contemporary goals and expectations of childrearing may be certain because of rapid social changes occurring in our culture. A variety of contradictory views about children have given rise to a variety of theories of childrearing and oriented methods of care giving. Most current conceptions used by professionals in the area of child development and parent education are based on findings from behavior and social science research. (Note to Teacher: An article entitled "Helping Children Learn self-control: A Guide to Discipline" (SM-1) may be used as a teacher resource.)
1. Think about why discipline is important to children.
2. What do you think is the teenager's attitude about discipline?
LESSON PLAN AND DIRECTED ACTIVITIES:
Start a unit by beginning with supporting concept a: Discipline
1. "Discipline-What is it?": To help students clarify their own ideas about the meaning and purpose of discipline, have them each write down a definition of discipline on a 3" x 5" card. (They do not have to put their names on the cards.) Collect the cards and share some of the definitions with the class. Analyze the definitions and try to find common themes in all of them. Compare their efinitions with the dictionary definition of discipline, which includes the elements of instruction and "disciple," (someone who follows the teachings of another).
After the discussion, ask if they believe there are rules developed in the name of discipline or that are unnecessary and ineffective on children.
Ask the students to reflect on rules that have been set by schools when they were in grade school, middle school, and high school, and analyze why they think the school authorities might have set these rules.
Do they feel they were, or are reasonable?
How can high school students have a role in setting rules for the school?
How does a parent know what are appropriate limits for a child?
What considerations would be involved in limit setting?
What is the result of a lack of discipline? Give some examples in your school setting.
Have student think about the school setting they are in now and the results when people act in an undisciplined manner.
It would be important to help students see that the purpose of some rules is to protect children from harm and that some rules are set for young children because they do not have the judgment or have not reached a developmental level where they can make all these decisions for themselves. They lack experience to understand the consequences of their actions. The discussion should include strategies for helping young children learn to self control. As children mature there will be a need for fewer externally imposed limits as they begin to internalize the standards set for them an become more able to make their own decisions.