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Make sure you teach children limits, boundaries and consequences

The result is that the child avoids and resents the parent because of not having a voice.

Parents can discipline their children with influence by explaining logical consequences and setting clear boundaries for behaviour.

“A parent should never enforce their power with physical punishment.

“Your disappointment in their behaviour will be punishment in itself if you learn to communicate effectively and set boundaries,” says Karen Badenhorst, a social worker and internationally certified parenting and personal/professional development trainer.

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She recently addressed the Motor Industry Staff Association (Misa) webinar as part of a series educating the union’s more than 65 000 members during National Child Protection Week.

Misa asked Badenhorst to empower parents with alternatives to discipline their children after a father (36) received a five-year suspended imprisonment sentence for hitting his daughter (seven) with a belt.

The father disciplined his daughter after she threw a tantrum.

He punished her the same way he was punished as a child, not knowing it was unconstitutional to hit a child.

His estranged wife reported him for assaulting all three of his children after she saw a blue mark on the eldest daughter’s body.

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He pleaded guilty to three charges of assault.

Badenhorst said children must be taught that conflict is normal in any relationship but not toxic or destructive.
She explained the three methods of handling conflict.

Authoritarian parents are strict with many rules.

The parent must always use force to get the result and reward afterwards.

The result is that the child avoids and resents the parent because of not having a voice.

“This child will fight back and become aggressive and be a bully at school because the child feels bullied at home. Many children submit to this type of parent but never develop good self-esteem, becoming a people pleaser.”

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“There is a difference between punishment and explaining the logical consequences.

“Parents should not be the source of consequences. Life and reality will sort out the consequences of the child’s actions. Change the word ‘discipline’ to ‘influence’.”

According to Badenhorst, permissive parents just let the child be.

This child becomes unmanageable and problematic and feels unloved.

She believes parents should follow the win-win parenting style, with mutual respect and consideration through creative co-operation between parent and child.

“Make plans for a win-win solution. Listen to the child’s unmet needs, sharing your unmet needs.

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“Allow the child to put solutions on the table before you share your solutions. There must be boundaries and understanding. Evaluate and find a solution acceptable to both.”

According to Badenhorst, each child has fundamental needs for survival, freedom, power, love, belonging, and enjoyment.

“They want us to spend time with them. Always allow a child to speak.”

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