Don't Discipline Your Child's Emotions, Discipline Their Inappropriate Behavior

Bekah Russom

Kids express their emotions differently compared to adults, as they should. After all, they're kids and just learning to cope with their feelings. They may appear like they're irrational, but that's part of their growing up.

As a parent, how you react in situations of emotional outbursts matters a lot. You need to act in the best way to avoid hurting the kids' delicate egos. You need to allow the kid to be, while also correcting unruly behavior, but how do you do it?

You do it by allowing them to feel sad, excited, or even angry without letting them go against the rules, whether in the house, school or elsewhere. Don't allow them to make others miserable or to misbehave in public.

Here is how to guide your kids to experience different emotions, while keeping to the rules.

Allow your kids to experience emotions.

If you teach your child that it's not right to feel sad, they will always find ways to conceal sadness, by-faking happiness. The result is they take longer to heal from the situation that made them unhappy. It isn't healthy for them and may lead to other unpleasant behaviors, right then or later in life.

Kids who are taught to stifle their anger end up becoming reserved, never talking about their problems and rarely complaining about mistreatments. They become children who are unable to rise and explain themselves, a behavior they may carry on throughout the rest of their lives.

Teach your children that it's okay to be sad and that there's no problem with showing you're angry. Show them that it's the resulting actions that may be bad, depending on the choices they make. That's if the choices cause them to break the rules.

Emotions are important.

A feeling of grief helps the heart to heal and forget the hurting situation. Being mad shows you're not pleased with what happened and helps you to cope with the situation. Being mad is not the problem, the problem is what you do to show that you're angered.

Let your kids show their feelings, but teach them to control their actions that come as a result of the emotions. Feeling angry isn't bad, but hitting the kid that made you mad isn't the right choice. Being sad is okay but shouting at the friend who made you sad isn't.

Teach your children how to deal with emotions.

Teaching your children how to cope with emotions makes them mentally strong. They will learn to show feelings without acting up. To differentiate emotions from behavior guide them by doing the following.

•  Show them that you can still go about your duties as usual when you're feeling sad.
•  Don't shout at the people you're mad at.
•  Teach them not to sulk at the people that they're angry with and set a good example yourself.
•  Show them that it's not a good choice to hit others for making them angry.
•  Acknowledge the feelings of your kids and assure them it's okay to feel, that you understand they can't help it.

The list of the things you can do to guide your kids to behave right even in the face of negative emotions is endless. The idea is to help the child to cope in the best way. To help them find out about the options available and how to choose the right ones.

Discipline your kids for bad behavior, not their emotions.

Along the way, your children may still behave inappropriately, but that doesn't mean you're not doing well with guiding them. It's part of their learning to deal with feelings. Some emotions will from time to time overtake their reasoning. They're kids, after all, and you can not expect them to be emotionally stable at all times.

Discipline your kids if they happen to break the rules for good behavior. Clever children may use their emotions as the reason for their behavior. Don't allow it. Help them understand that the disciplining is not for expressing the emotion, but for their actions. That way, you will gradually make them understand the value of controlling the way they react to feelings.

Allowing your kids to express their feelings is important. It will enable them to connect with and reveal their emotional self. They will grow mentally strong, learn to control their actions, and grow into respectable adults.