Every Society Has Rules In a healthy society, rules are designed for the benefit of the whole. Everyone reaps the benefits. Where despotic leaders impose rules that are detrimental to the well-being of the people, people will eventually rebel.
The same principles are true in family life. Mom and Dad have the responsibility to decide rules that are for the benefit of the children. When parents are self -centered and impose unfair and unrealistic rules upon children, eventually the children rebel. Good rules which are lovingly enforced teach children obedience. Bad rules that are harshly enforced create angry children.
Clear and Consistent Are you having trouble teaching your child obedience? Children are moral creatures. They have a strong sense of right and wrong. This is evident when you hear the phrase, "That's not fair Mommy." In light of this, when you state rules clearly to children, why you have the rule, and what the consequences will be if the child breaks the rule, they will clearly understand their boundaries and that they will be disciplined if they step out of line.
Discipline is not a dirty word. It means "training". Every child needs it. It begins by helping a child understand that my behavior affects others. If I help mommy set the table, mommy is happy. If I throw the ball on the table mommy is upset. It continues with the reality that life is filled with rules. Rules are for our good. If we follow rules, life is pleasant. If we break them life is unpleasant.
The only other ingredient is to be consistent in letting the child suffer the consequences. If you remove the consequences because the child cries, then you teach the child to cry. If a temper tantrum will change the parents mind, then the child becomes a terror. Do yourself a favor learn to discipline fairly and consistently.
Practically Speaking Do you want to teach your child not to smoke cigarettes? Then don't smoke yourself and make it a family rule. In our family, no one smokes cigarettes. If we break the rule we must eat a carrot - the whole thing. This will give the body beta carotene to overcome the nicotine, and chances are the teen will think twice about smoking a second time.
If there is a second violation, a $25 dollar donation to the American Heart Association, picking up 100 cigarette butts from the street and putting them in a trash can, and reading an article on the dangers of nicotine to the lungs will probably be enough to convince him that smoking is for camels and not for children. The third level is spending a day with a man who is dying of lung cancer. Your children are smart. Expose them to the truth.
Having the consequences for misbehavior set in advance keeps you from being controlled by your emotional state at the moment. When you let it slide one day and come down hard on the child the next day for the same behavior, you create insecurity in the soul of the child. Be consistent and loving and you will have a child that others will enjoy.