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The art of disciplining and its connection with self-worth

Team StoryWeavers|June 21, 2022, 17:28 IST| 2

Promote Self-Worth Via Disciplining“If you conquer yourself, then you conquer the world”

Paulo Coelho, Brazilian lyricist and novelist 

Most parents may have experienced a moment when they have questioned their own disciplining approach towards their child and wondered if it really is effective. Disciplining approaches are critical as they can make or break the child’s self-esteem and self-worth. In this article, we will explore how parents can use discipline to create a safe and secure environment that promotes their child’s self-worth. 

How to promote self-worth via disciplining

A book published by Oxford University Press in 2010, The Parents’ Guide to Psychological First Aid, mentions a few key principles that will help parents discipline their children in a way that promotes their self-worth: 

  • Practice prevention. Parents can take a proactive approach to disciplining their child. It will help parents minimise disciplinary problems. For example: Allowing a young child to leave the dinner table if the child finds it difficult to remain seated. This removes the punitive environment and encourages the child to practise self-control. 
  • Parents need to work as a team. Parents can periodically examine their expectations from the child. This conversation will help them align their parenting approach with each other. Do ensure that these discussions are not happening in front of the child. 
  • Be consistent, not rigid. Being consistent as a parent is not the same as being rigid and inflexible. Consistent parenting requires thoughtful modification of rules and their consequences. In such cases, while making modifications, do consider the child’s inputs. It will help them understand the changes better and will give them a platform to raise their queries. 
  • Choose your battles carefully. Parents need to ask themselves which behaviour merits discipline and which does not in terms of nurturing responsibility and fostering resilience. Parents must not arbitrarily enforce discipline, as it lessens its effectiveness. The only exception to this are the behaviours that compromise the safety of the child involved.  
  • Rely on natural and logical consequences. Ideally, consequences should be discussed with the child beforehand. Children learn that their actions have consequences in two ways: through natural and logical consequences. Natural consequences are the consequences resulting from the child’s actions without you intervening. For example: The bicycle got stolen because it was not locked. Logical consequences are the consequences that require some action on behalf of the parents. For example: Parents helping a child to figure out how to get a new bicycle by performing the household chores for a month. 

All these tips will definitely help you enforce discipline in a way that promotes the child’s self-worth. However, parents should know that catching their children doing something right and praising them is a great disciplinary tool too. Children like it when their parents pay attention to them, and hence providing it for the right reasons is essential. When children feel appreciated and supported, they are less likely to engage in disruptive behaviour. 

Did you know that discipline has the power to promote your child’s self-worth? Did you find this article helpful? Do let us know in the comments section below. 


The Parents’ Guide to Psychological First Aid: Helping Children and Adolescents Cope with Predictable Life Crises. (2010). United Kingdom: Oxford University Press.

About the Author

“Me-kha-la!” That happens at least once when she introduces herself to new people. She wholeheartedly believes in the quote by Arthur Rubinstein that says – “if you love life, life will love you back”. She is an organizational psychologist and psychometrician. She was a class teacher of 36 adorable girls for two years, grades 2 & 3, as a part of the Teach For India Fellowship. These little girls have a special place in her heart, and when she writes for children, she writes for them!

Leave a Comment



Mohan Mangalkar

July 19, 2021

Useful and Helpful.

Divyanshi Rathore

July 13, 2021

Yes it was very very very very useful and and and also helpful ????


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