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Exploring The 5 Main Types Of Child Discipline

Discipline is inevitable and necessary when it comes to parenting, and it's usually not the most enjoyable part of parenting. 

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When it comes to motherhood and parenting, it is never an easy task. It also doesn't come with a manual or set of instructions on a perfect way to parent, and that's because there isn't one. There is no one solution or parenting style that works for every family in this world. Every child is different, every mother is different, and every socioeconomic environment is different, which means that parenting can be considered a fluid construct that is constantly changing and evolving. While this can make parenting overwhelming, it can be liberating because a mother has many tools to try to find what works for her and her family.

Discipline is inevitable and necessary when it comes to parenting, and it is not usually the most enjoyable part of parenting. However, discipline is not something that only applies to children, adults use discipline in their lives every day, and it is important.

    According to Elite Daily, discipline is "vital to every living thing, and without it, the world around us would be in chaos."

Discipline in childhood can bring stability and structure, ideals that children thrive on.

5 types of child discipline

When a mom reads a parenting book, a mom blog, or even talks to her mom friends about discipline, she's likely to come across several specific forms of discipline. Things ranging from time out to time in, from positive reinforcement to loss of privileges. However, according to the Very Well family, each tactic is a subtype of the five main types of discipline.

The five different types of child discipline have their advantages and disadvantages, and it depends on the temperament of the parent and the temperament of the child to decide which will work best. There is no professional who can say exactly which one is "best", it is a very personal decision for each family. There are 5 types:

  •     Positive discipline.
  •     Gentle discipline
  •     Borderline discipline
  •     Behavior modification
  •     Emotional coaching


Positive Discipline

    According to the Positive Discipline Association, positive discipline is about learning to create "responsible, respectful, and resourceful relationships."

This form of discipline is said to be used in all forms of community, not just in families with young children. The basic premise of this model is to help children find a sense of belonging and relevance in the world around them. Positive discipline is carried out by showing mutual respect between parents and children, and is characterized as being "benevolent and firm at the same time." It requires the mother to think about what the child is experiencing at the time, and this is done in the hope that the effect can be long-lasting.

Example: A school-age child does not want to do homework that night. If a parent has this problem with her child's refusal to do homework, she can sit down with her child and acknowledge her feelings, while recognizing that the teacher wants the homework done. The mother asks her child what she can do to show the teacher that she has been able to finish it. It is about working with the child rather than "forcing" him to do something.
Gentle discipline

Sarah Ockwell-Smith is an author who focuses on parenting and soft discipline, and according to All 4 Women, she has a clear definition of soft discipline. She stated that soft discipline is something that starts from the birth of the baby, which can make life easier for little ones.

    She stated, "Discipline is nothing more than teaching and learning. From the moment you hold your baby in your arms, you are teaching him just as he is teaching you."

It is not about reward and punishment, but a supportive learning process.

Example: Using the same example we used for positive discipline, a parent with gentle discipline might respond with a "joke" by asking their child if they would like to write an article about why they don't want to do math homework. The parent would then review the homework with the child and decide how to complete it.

Boundary Discipline
Boundary-based discipline is self-explanatory and involves setting limits when disciplining a child. According to the Child Mind Institute, boundaries are very important for children in all aspects, not just discipline. It lets children know that they should respect the needs of others and, in turn, their needs will be respected. Boundary-based discipline may be one of the most common forms of discipline used by parents.

Example: When dealing with a child who does not want to do homework, a parent who uses boundary-based discipline often says that if the child does not do homework, he will not spend time with his devices that afternoon. This is the same form of discipline that tells a child that he won't get dessert if he doesn't eat all of his dinner.
Behavior modification

According to research, behavior modification relies heavily on "unlearning" behavior and is supported by conditioning theories, which believe that behavior is learned and therefore can be unlearned through conditioning techniques. This type of discipline relies heavily on praise and rewards, meaning that they "teach" their children certain behaviors by offering rewards for good behavior. Some parents see this as "bribery" and it is another very common form of discipline in the parenting world.

Example: When it comes to our child not wanting to finish their homework, a mom will offer a small reward for getting their work done. They will tell their child that if they finish their homework, they can have 30 minutes of computer or TV time. This works almost backwards from limit-based discipline.
Emotion coaching.

According to Parent Child Help, emotional coaching responds to children with respect. A mother who is an emotional coach is a mother who connects with her child, is empathetic and understanding, but sets clear boundaries with her child. They follow the belief that children's behavior is based on their feelings and needs, and the challenge for parents is to teach them to express those feelings and needs respectfully and appropriately.

Example: A child who doesn't want to do homework will feel emotions about why he doesn't want to do the work to which the parent responds. Mom will confirm how she feels when she thinks about doing homework, and they will work on those feelings together. Mom may suggest that they draw a picture together of how they feel, and by the time they deal with the feelings, the math homework will likely be done.


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