Parent Skill #7 — Set limits, and provide discipline

It is tough to set limits and provide discipline when you are observing your child missing out on many activities that other children enjoy regularly. However, like all children, your child wants and needs to know the reassurance of limits. We have all known children who have not had limits or discipline in their lives, and they have often been unhappy children who have not been pleasant to be around. Setting limits.

It is no different for a child with a chronic illness. Limits and discipline result in a sense of structure and security, which are especially important to the child whose life is filled with unpredictability. Discipline is not the same as punishment, and should include many positive reinforcements for a child's appropriate behaviors. In this way, discipline helps enable your child to have predictability in her life, and to learn to control her own behavior. Consistency is very important, and it is challenging to ensure.

Not only does your child need consistency from you in day-to-day discipline, but also from others in her life. You should communicate your discipline preferences to the nurses and other staff at the hospital, extended family members, and your child's teachers. There are several types of discipline that are recommended including praising appropriate behavior, using time-out with young children, and granting privileges for appropriate behaviors and restricting privileges for unacceptable behaviors for older children.

Good discipline and limit setting will enable your child to continue to "be a kid" amidst a situation that is often said to result in kids growing up too quickly.

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