Family, Social, Cultural, and Religious Influences on Child Health Promotion : Types of discipline

Types of discipline

  • During reprimanding children,
    • Focus only on the misbehavior, not on the child
    • The use of “I” messages rather than “you” messages express personal feelings without accusation or ridicule
      • “I” message attacks the behavior (“I am upset when Johnny is punched; I don’t like to see him hurt”) not the child.
    • Positive and negative reinforcement is the basis of behavior modification theory
      • Behaviors that are rewarded will be repeated
      • Behaviors that are not rewarded will be extinguished
    • Consistently ignoring behavior will eventually extinguish or minimize the act, although sometimes parents frequently “give in” and resort to previous patterns of discipline.
    • Consequently, the behavior is reinforced because the child learns that persistence gains parental attention. For ignoring to be effective, parents should
      • Understand the process
      • Record the undesired behavior before using ignoring to determine whether a problem exists and to compare results after ignoring is begun
      • Determine whether parental attention acts as a reinforcer
      • Be aware of “response burst”
        • This is the phenomenon that occurs when the undesired behavior increases after ignoring is initiated because the child is “testing” the parents to see if they are serious about the plan.
    • The strategy of consequences involves allowing children to experience the results of their misbehavior. It includes the following three types:
      • Natural: 
        • Those that occur without any intervention, such as being late and having to clean up the dinner table
      • Logical: 
        • Those that are directly related to the rule, such as not being allowed to play with another toy until the used ones are put away
      • Unrelated: 
        • Those that are imposed deliberately, such as no playing until homework is completed or the use of time-out
  • Using Time-Out
    • Select an area for time-out that is safe, convenient, and unstimulating, but where the child can be monitored, such as the bathroom, hallway, or laundry room.
    • Determine what behaviors warrant a time-out.
    • Make certain children understand the “rules” and how they are expected to behave.
    • Explain to children the process of time-out:
      • When they misbehave, they will be given one warning. If they do not obey, they will be sent to the place designated for time-out.
      • They are to sit there for a specified period.
      • If they cry, refuse, or display any disruptive behavior, the time-out period will begin after they quiet down.
      • When they are quiet for the duration of the time, they can then leave the room.
      • A rule for the length of time-out is 1 minute per year of age; use a kitchen timer with an audible bell to record the time rather than a watch.
  • Parenting and Divorce
    • The Divorce process
      • Acute phase
        • The married couple makes the decision to separate.
        • This phase includes the legal steps of filing for dissolution of the marriage and, usually, the departure of the father from the home.
        • This phase lasts from several months to more than 1 year and is accompanied by familial stress and a chaotic atmosphere.
      • Transitional Phase
        • The adults and children assume unfamiliar roles and relationships within a new family structure.
        • This phase is often accompanied by a change of residence, a reduced standard of living and altered lifestyle, a larger share of the economic responsibility being shouldered by the mother, and radically altered parent-child relationships.
      • Stabilizing Phase
        • The post-divorce family re-establishes a stable, functioning family unit.
        • Remarriage frequently occurs with concomitant changes in all areas of family life.
    • Feelings and Behaviors of Children Related to Divorce
      • Infancy
        • Effects of reduced mothering or lack of mothering
        • Increased irritability
        • Disturbance in eating, sleeping, and elimination
        • Interference with attachment process
      • Early Preschool Children (2 to 3 Years of Age)
        • Frightened and confused
        • Blame themselves for the divorce
        • Fear of abandonment
        • Increased irritability, whining, tantrums
        • Regressive behaviors (e.g., thumb sucking, loss of elimination control)
        • Separation anxiety
      • Later Preschool Children (3 to 5 Years of Age)
        • Fear of abandonment
        • Blame themselves for the divorce; decreased self-esteem
        • Bewilderment regarding all human relationships
        • Become more aggressive in relationships with others (e.g., siblings, peers)
        • Engage in fantasy to seek understanding of the divorce
      • Early School-Age Children (5 to 6 Years of Age)
        • Depression and immature behavior
        • Loss of appetite and sleep disorders
        • May be able to verbalize some feelings and understand some divorce-related changes
        • Increased anxiety and aggression
        • Feelings of abandonment by departing parent
      • Middle School-Age Children (6 to 8 Years of Age)
        • Panic reactions
        • Feelings of deprivation: loss of parent, attention, money, and secure future
        • Profound sadness, depression, fear, and insecurity
        • Feelings of abandonment and rejection
        • Fear regarding the future
        • Difficulty expressing anger at parents
        • Intense desire for reconciliation of parents
        • Impaired capacity to play and enjoy outside activities
        • Decline in school performance
        • Altered peer relationships: become bossy, irritable, demanding, and manipulative
        • Frequent crying, loss of appetite, sleep disorders
        • Disturbed routine, forgetfulness
      • Later School-Age Children (9 to 12 years of age)
        • More realistic understanding of divorce
        • Intense anger directed at one or both parents
        • Divided loyalties
        • Ability to express feelings of anger
        • Ashamed of parental behavior
        • Desire for revenge; may wish to punish the parent they hold responsible
        • Feelings of loneliness, rejection, and abandonment
        • Altered peer relationships
        • A decline in school performance
        • May develop somatic complaints
        • May engage in aberrant behavior, such as lying, stealing
        • Temper tantrums
        • Dictatorial attitude
      • Adolescents (12 to 18 years of Age)
        • Able to disengage themselves from parental conflict
        • Feelings of a profound sense of loss: of family, childhood
        • Feelings of anxiety
        • Worry about themselves, parents, siblings
        • Expression of anger, sadness, shame, embarrassment
        • May withdraw from family and friends
        • Disturbed concept of sexuality
        • May engage in acting-out behaviors


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