To discipline someone is to disciple that someone. It is about bringing someone to a way of life that has been proven and tested. Often, the word consequence comes to mind when we talk about the subject of discipline - bringing with it a punitive element. Sure, we may bring the child into compliance through consequence but have we communicated clearly enough so that the child is not left interpreting our instructions to his own convenience? One sign of incomplete communication is - constant nagging. If you find yourself nagging your child regularly, it is time to take stock of your Communication-Consistency-Quotient (CCQ) :
- I do not need to repeat my instruction. First time obedience is what I get.
- I do not end my instruction with "OK?". Doing this means I need permission for compliance!
- I say what I mean. I actually carry out what I said I would do because I am willing to put up with short-term childish displeasure for long-term adult responsibility.
- I do not believe in reasoning to convince. The child is fundamentally selfish. Action speaks louder.
- My child pays more attention to me than I to him.