“How many times have I told you…”, “Don’t do that”, “No snacks before dinner”… If you are a parent, then chances are you have used various versions of these sentences on your child at one point or another. Your home is a constant battle ground of power struggles between you and your child, and often you end up being the bad guy. “Disciplining” children entails encouraging your child to experience the natural consequences of their actions. Ensuring that your child learns this connection between what he/she does and what happens will aide them make better choices as they grow older.
According to study that we conducted across various schools, we found that 81% of parents said that their pre-schoolers (aged 3-6 years) understood that their actions had consequences. This is an extremely important milestone in a child’s life as knowing how one’s behavior can affect themselves or others will help them resist bad influences and at the same time help them learn new skills like patience, forgiveness, being polite to others or being considerate to other people’s feelings.
When children don’t grasp this concept they:
- Turn belligerent and may comply with your demands without understanding the effects, rather than because they have grasped anything about right and wrong.
- When they behave out fear of the repercussions, they might cooperate in the short term, but not in the long-term
- This will affect their ability to make friends as empathy, conversations and appropriate behavior play a huge role in building a child’s social skills
Children who understand this concept are naturally more independent and develop into self-assured individuals, confident about themselves. Parents easily tend to trust their judgment and this is critical to the child’s emotional and physical well-being.
Teaching responsibility to your kid
Here’s a parenting tip that will encourage your child to understand and practice the concept of “actions and consequence”. Ask your child to observe the behavior of people in various scenarios. This will encourage the child to introspect about “what happens if” and about “what happens when I don’t”, encouraging them to consciously make better decisions.
Download the Mai app to assess your child’s skill in causal reasoning and controlling impulses.