Discipline is an absolute essential component to raising a child.
Without discipline, a human being runs the risk of becoming willful and insensitive to the external factors. They will do what they want when they want regardless of whether it is appropriate to do so.
As many parents have found out, the absence of discipline within your child can lead to embarrassing moments.
The Oxford dictionary defines discipline as being, “the practice of training people to obey rules or a code of behavior, using punishment to correct disobedience.”
Understanding the Importance of Discipline
Without discipline, people would indulge in civil disobedience. We would have way higher incidents of crime and live in a society of lawlessness, far beyond what we are experiencing now. With the constant eroding of morals in our society, it is important that the rectification to mitigate the ramifications of indiscipline start in the smallest unit, the family.
The family has the capacity and capability of restoring order where order and respect for laws and authority have been tolerated.
A mother and a father are more than just the guardian of their children’s physical wellbeing. They are the standard-bearers for their children in terms of their morals, values and their behavioral and spiritual practices. They shape a human mold, their child, into the person they become in the future.
Think about it.
Stalin, Hitler, and Bin Laden all had mothers and fathers.
Yes, socialization also played a part in their upbringing, but parents are first in that process.
Disciplining Your Child in a Blended Family
In any family where there are two parents present, it is important that both parents share the role of being the disciplinarian.
A mother and a father each bring a different facet to discipline. They are both imperative to a child’s development.
Also, each authority figure must represent a similar model of discipline. Else, there will be inconsistencies in a child’s development.
If one parent is permissive, and the other is authoritative, a child will manipulate the parents against each other to get their way. You will notice this when a child tends to ask one parent for something because they know they will get it.
So both parents have to be authoritative and share in the responsibilities of disciplining their child.
Sharing the Disciplinarian Role with a Step Parent
A child coming out of a divorce or broken home, already has a lot of baggage.
They can be resentful, angry, depressed and outright rude, because they are experiencing emotional turmoil.
Regardless, the biological parent has to work diligently to ensure that they respect the new stepparent and understand that they too are a figure of authority.
For some families, especially if the stepparent is male, this is not too difficult, and the transition is easier.
However, other families have a difficult time of doing this. Especially in many cases where you are dealing with teenagers. It is challenging enough navigating the emotional upheavals caused by puberty. But adding to that being with a new family and adjusting to that, can seem impossible.
Do not disregard discipline in the home.
Do not give your child an ‘easy time of it’ because they are also handling a divorce.
It is even more important that disciplining your child be kept up during this time. Statistically, children with divorce in their background, tend to be more rebellious. They display behavioral problems. Some will suffer academically while others carry these issues into their adulthood and it affects their personalities for the worse.
They will give in to their impulses and do what they want, when they want, how they want.
This can lead to them becoming indiscipline and not obeying the rules of your household, school or society.
So, yes you have to deal with the emotional and psychological issues as well as the behavioral symptoms of the real problem.
Talk to your child before bringing them into a new household about the role of their new stepparent.
You want to make sure that you never allow an overt sign of disrespect to your spouse, as a stepparent, to go by without being reprimanded. Reinforce their behavior with a reward and praise system.
Use positive discipline to get them to conform.
Where you notice that your child is struggling, do more than punish them for their behavior. Talk to them about how they are feeling and how the transition has been for them.
A disciplined child can be an unhappy child and this is worse than an indiscipline one. You want your kids to be happy and disciplined.
Many children feel better when they know that their feelings count and someone is listening to them.
The emotional trauma occurred over a period and will take time to erode. Operate in love and understanding and give them as much positive attention as is required.
The challenges of executing discipline from both parents in a blended family can be overcome if your family unit remains unified in all things.