Discipline is one of the major roles of a parent in a child's life. As the years go by, methods used by parents have evolved. While some have become outdated, some have stood the test of time. We conducted a poll on the methods of instilling discipline in Kenyan households and here are some of the popular ones.
It seems boundary setting is not only a preserve for the West. One Lydia W. Munyiri said that setting boundaries is her go-to method of discipline. The theory behind this is easy; children start behaving better when they feel that they are in a safe environment. It shows the children that it is okay to do some things and that some things are obviously out of bounds.
Denying them their favourite things
Almost similar to boundary setting is denying children things This was also a popular answer with some participants of the poll swearing by its effectiveness.
Time-out is a variation of denying your child their favourite things to discipline them. It involves putting the child in a position that is boring for them so that they correct their behavior. It allows them to think of their mistakes and realize that they were wrong about what they did.
Talking it out
There are parents who simply feel guilty about hurting their children or making them sad. For this cohort, talking is the best method of correction. While it may seem too lenient, child experts actually recommend it. It makes children feel safe and not scared of talking to you when need arises. It also reinforces their thinking, showing them that adults are approachable too. This sets children up with healthy relationships with their parents.
It's a common joke among Kenyans of a certain age that stares from their mothers were enough to send chills down their spines. Turns out there are parents who are still using this method and it is working for them.
Then there are those who swear by the old adage "spare the rod, spoil the child." This traditional discipline method is both corrective and preventive as children will be scared of the cane to make a mistake. In as much as it whooping is scary, it really works for most parents and makes for hilarious moments when kids are older. According to Nelly Imire, pipes do it for her; "I have 2 pipes,1 for my daughter,the other one for my Son.They work perfectly fine."
When all is said and done
Disciplining a child is never easy but it is necessary. Whichever method you chose, ensure you don't go to the extremes and end up hurting your children but also ensure you are not too lenient. It's a tricky balance but its worth it.