“So be patient with gracious patience.” (Quran Surah 70:5)
“Make things easy for the people, and do not make it difficult for them, and make them calm with glad tidings and do not repulse them.” 1
There are several reasons why as a parent, you should remain calm when disciplining your child. A primary reason is because you want to develop a loving relationship with your young one. A child who feels loved and respected is more inclined to want to please her parents. This makes things easier for the parent in her role of parenting.
Your child looks up to you!
You are your child’s primary teacher. You don’t want to lose that connection between you and your child. Even though your child will go through periods in which peer pressure reigns, your child will still be open to your suggestions if you have an understanding relationship. This helps you continue exercising your influence into the period of adolescence and beyond, insha’Allah.
You are in control!
Another reason to maintain your composure when disciplining is because when you become angry when correcting your child, rather than emphasizing that you want her to behave, you are instilling in your child that she has the power to control your emotions. Let’s say your daughter is angry because you’re not letting her use her phone for three days because she neglected to complete her homework three days in a row. She is angry and feels vindictive. Even if she has to sit in her room for 30 minutes, it might be worth it to her if she can ruffle your feathers and make you feel the frustration and anger she’s feeling right now for missing out on using her phone.
Remaining calm also shows your child that you are in control of the situation. For some high-spirited children, your anger and shouting are likely to escalate and intensify the child’s resistance and encourage a battle of wills. She might start a tantrum or some other aggressive behavior that you will feel helpless to control. Usually when you feel helpless and at a loss as to what you should do with your child, you tend to resort back to what you’re comfortable and familiar with—hitting. Controlling your anger can stop this power struggle before it starts in the first place.
Remaining calm shows your child you’re in control–you have the reigns. The strong-willed child needs to know you’re the director. This actually helps her feel more secure. She wants to know what her limits are, and she wants to be guided.
Narrated Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him): The Prophet counseled a man who asked for his advice and told him three times “Don’t get angry.” 2
You need to check your emotions too!
Sometimes, parents themselves need to calm down and deal with their own feelings first before they attempt to handle the behavior of their child. If you are in a bad mood or your child has done something that really ticks you off, do not immediately react. Take a breather. Go to your room for a few seconds—or minutes. Count to ten. Along with counseling to avoid getting angry, the Prophet recommended 3 that when you are angry, you should sit down. If you are already sitting, then lie down. Sitting down or lying down can help you avoid acting upon your anger. Be still until you have calmed down. You will be in a healthier state of mind to make the proper discipline decisions for both you and your child.
Your child learns from observing you:
When your child observes your actions during your episodes of frustration and anger, she learns from you. If you tend to become physically violent with her when you’re angry, your child will learn this as an acceptable behavior. If you rant, curse and shout, she will learn this as acceptable behavior during her periods of anger too. You are her role model, her teacher. Your actions are what she will emulate.
So the next time you feel like shouting, slapping, or going on your own rampage around the house when your older daughter punches her younger brother in the head, stop and think about the negative impression you will make on both children. Calm yourself down, and be an example of how you want them to behave when they are angry.
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