What is the right way to discipline a child?

The most common saying ‘spare the rod and spoil the child’ has been withdrawn in most Rwandan families because of the strict laws which consider spanking a child as an abusive act that hinders  the proper growth of a child.

The most common saying ‘spare the rod and spoil the child’ has been withdrawn in most Rwandan families because of the strict laws which consider spanking a child as an abusive act that hinders  the proper growth of a child.

Discipline is really about teaching decision making. It’s teaching children how to make better choices about their behavior, how to be responsible, and showing them that they have the power to choose their behaviour.

Speaking to the New Times’, Gertrude Majyambere, a mother of three, said that there is no formula on how to discipline children.

“I talk to my children rather than use other measures like spanking or scolding them. I know they understand when they do something wrong.”

 “I always pray for/with them and acknowledge positive prospects in their lives. It is so bad to talk negatively around children because it affects them,” Majyambere expresses.

According to an article by the website iVillage, “A parent is supposed to establish goals for their children. They should list the behaviors that they want to see in their children and make a record of how often they occur. Parents will be able to take some action by learning the most effective ways to discipline children in order to change these behaviors.”

Another tactic of disciplining a child is when the parent expresses disapproval for the child’s action.

Expressing disapproval can be the simplest and most effective way of changing a child’s behavior especially if the parent lets their children know that you disapprove of their act. 

According to Damien Ngabonziza, a Children Rights consultant at UNICEF and the Ministry of Gender and Family Promotion (MIGEPROF), children should be disciplined with love and understanding.

“If a parent understands the development of a child then it’s easy to know the right way of disciplining him or her,” Ngabonziza explains.

He further said that parents should absolutely avoid violent measures such as beating or inflicting pain because it affects the child in different ways.

“Talking to the child and getting to know what he or she thinks or goes through can determine the best way in knowing how to discipline them. Children are vulnerable and they need to be treated with love,”   Ngabonziza discloses.                                                               

 

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