As parents learn they are expecting a new baby, they may be filled with joy, excitement and anticipation too! They may also have worries about how they will ever learn everything there is to know about raising happy healthy children. As we have explored in previous podcast seasons, our temperament is part of who we are from birth! As the great guidance and discipline season is upon us you might be interested to learn that some research has revealed that “Individual characteristics of both children and parents predict the form of discipline that parents use”.
The traits we have as children can even predict what type of discipline is used, for example the following childhood traits were found to increase the likelihood of harsh punishment:
- Children with problems with conduct, attention, and disobedience
- Children who are more negative emotionally and more irritable
- Children who display behaviors that are particularly stressful for their parent
- Children with disabilities, particularly those with communication difficulties
Adults who are aware of their own temperament and who can identify when they are being triggered by their child’s behavior, can be prepared with another, less harsh form of discipline.
Culture is another aspect that figures into our decisions regarding what measures are taken to guide and discipline children. Research confirms culture influences what child behaviors we view as desired or undesirable. It also influences what parenting practices we view as normal and acceptable.
As a society we rely on adults who are responsible and accountable, thus who have learned discipline from an early age. As parents navigate the journey of child rearing, they too have decisions to make regarding the best way to raise their children to become happy, healthy, well-mannered, and disciplined! We will continue to explore guidance practices and offer strategies for the parent toolbox.