Discipline is a word that has a very negative connotation to it

Discipline is a word that has a very negative connotation to it. It implies strictness, adherence to rules and following a scheduled way of life. Discipline has come to be associated with a certain set of behaviour characteristics for so many years, all of which indicate that the behaviour of children is inappropriate and must be controlled. This is the main reason that today many children rebel against the word ‘discipline’ in any form, parents react to it strongly and educators think twice on how to go imbibing discipline in children. However general discipline is the basis for imposing discipline on the self and has to begin from a young age. Self-discipline when cultivated early in children sets them up for life. Research has found that it develops them holistically, and instills better social and leadership skills. There are many goals that are achieved by self-discipline, primary among them being empathy, patience, good personal behaviour and conscience. The above characteristics are not developed over-night but start slowly and from the time children are small. 

EMPATHY - Empathy and care are very important for children to develop self-discipline. This isn’t just towards themselves but towards others as well. As they grow, it helps them in decision making, collaboration and engagement with others. Empathy also begins at home. Children who observe their carers and educators practice empathy, follow it themselves. They extend it to other children and even animals. 

PATIENCE - Teaching a child patience is a tough job. Children today seek instant gratification from everything, and this is partly due to what they are exposed to when it comes to behaviour patterns and general media. When small, reasoning isn’t something they understand easily. To wait when it is their turn, to understand that achievement comes after several disappointments are all concepts that will hold them in good stead as they turn older. Stories and examples are great ways of inculcating this. 

GOOD PERSONAL BEHAVIOR - Good manners is one of the first things that children must know, because these will be used by them even in their adult life. ‘Please’, ‘Sorry’ and ‘Thank You’ are simple words with much impact. The only way of inculcating this is by the elders practicing it themselves. Reasoning children’s behaviour and explaining the impact of good behaviour are two very simple yet practical methods. 

CONSCIENCE - Conscience is a difficult concept to explain to children. It ties in with morals, good & bad, values and principles. An important aspect of self-discipline is for children to understand what they wish to stand by and why. The ability to differentiate between right and wrong, to practice what they think is right develops over years but has to begin early. While parents are the ones who help children develop self-discipline, it is equally important for everyone who engages with them to show by example. 

At Kingston High, a pre-school near Manyata Tech Park, Hebbal, we engage with little children and have different concepts & practices specifically designed to inculcate this crucial learning in children. From teaching them the importance of manners, to how they speak to others, from teaching them responsibility by looking after their plants and gardening, to story telling and extra-curricular activities, everything is designed as subtle learning in which they participate yet learn from

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