We’re proud to present Sandy’s first post. Her background in psychology will make her blogs a great source of information and discussion. For the rest of the week, we’ll post a few Thanksgiving sentiments from some of the Merrimack Valley Moms, so check back often!
By Sandy Egan
For every mother, the decision on how and when to discipline your child is an issue that is tested throughout their childhood. Indeed, it is tested every day for a mother and, often, multiple times throughout a day.
Discipline takes many shapes and forms, and this article does not attempt to argue a point to spank or not to spank. I write instead of the concept of discipline as a whole, how I apply it to my everyday life with my kids and, hopefully, help clarify the issue for others.
As I had mentioned before, my experiences before parenthood in the field of psychology have led me to study and practice the developmental stages a child will go through. These stages have been categorized and named by very famous psychologists. After I became a mother, however, I came up with my own names for the different developmental stages a child will go through. In terms of discipline, each stage had a specific name that logically dictates the guidelines for the appropriate action for a parent to take.
In other words, what is appropriate discipline for a 2 year old would not be for a 10 year old, and vice-versa.
Why discipline your child? Most moms already know the answer to this question. If you are a new mom, you probably have memories about how you were disciplined as a child and will base your child’s discipline on what you liked or didn’t like when you were growing up.
First, discipline is not equivalent to punishment. Punishment might be an outcome of discipline, but discipline’s primary purpose is to teach.
Teach what? To teach a child about their world and to equip them with skills that will protect them from harm and make good choices. This holds true from the toddler stage to the teenage years. In future posts, I will write about each developmental stage.