Be an amazing parent:
Discipline Made Easy: Part 2
Use positive reinforcement as much as possible
Human beings like bears will respond better to honey than getting stung. Example: “Thank you for clearing off your plate; for sitting still or for waiting to ask a question.” These are all illustrations of using compliments to reinforce positive behavior. Positive, kind and loving methods tend to have a much stronger impact on child behavior than negative approaches like yelling, name-calling or hitting. Here are some alternative Healthy discipline techniques.
Use “I” messages
Here are some examples of “I” messages versus negative messages. I like a clean floor instead of don’t make a mess on the floor. I like it when you throw your garbage away instead of don’t be a pig and leave your garbage sitting in the living room. I appreciate that you cleared your plate to the sink instead of don’t be messy and leave your dirty plate at the table. Notice that you are communicating the same idea but the “I” message states that you have noticed and value their good behavior.
Expect mistakes sometimes
After all, we are all human and it takes time to learn a skill. Example: It takes time to learn a skill. Think about a baby learning to walk. At first, its legs are wobbly, and they fall down. Eventually, they take their first steps and then start to walk. We don’t think, “Stupid baby…instead, we say…how cute, the baby is learning to walk”. Realize this is the same for all ages. Give your children a little space to grow and make mistakes along the way. Discipline is for reinforcing a behavior they can perform. Example: A baby can’t clear their dishes to the sink, but a 3-year-old should be able to complete the task after being shown a couple of times how to do it.
Give the child choices of decisions, actions and consequences.
Example: “Would you like to wear this outfit or this shirt and pants today?” “Would you rather sit inside and color or go for a walk with me?” Since you misbehaved, would you rather go without your chocolate milk or not sleep with “dog”? (Both are things my grandson loves.)
Give the child time to think
Example: Give them a short Time-out to calm down and show appropriate behavior. Have them go to their room for 10 minutes. Ask them to sit in the corner and read a book. You can even say that they can come out when they are ready to behave properly.
Keep directions clear and simple.
Don’t get too wordy. This is a common mistake. Keep it short and simple.
Have as few rules as possible
It is so much easy for a child if there are only a few rules that are simple and straight-forward.
Realize that children need both discipline and self-esteem
In fact, succeeding, learning, and mastery will help give your child self-esteem.
Keep directions or requests: simple and concise. Parents tend to talk too much. Keep it easy, uncomplicated and avoid arguing. You are in charge. Explain your reason. Listen to their disagreements. Then state how things will be. Example: “In our house, you will make your bed each morning.” Realise that you can show some wiggle room for unexpected situations like with the bed-making rule; possible exceptions would be if the child is sick or ran late due to someone else’s misbehavior or requests of time.
When parenting a child/teen, try to keep in mind all the changes they are going through as a part of growing up. Childhood is a hard and confusing time of life. Remember that you will always be a very important person in your child’s life and that they look to you for guidance even if they don’t act like it. Try to set rules that are Clear, Consistent & Concrete. Discipline should be thought of as a teachable consequence rather than a punishment. Do your best to model the behavior you want in return. It simply doesn’t work to say do as I say: ignore what I do. Think about how to handle difficult situations ahead of time but if you are not sure of how to handle things…you can give yourself time to think it through. Take the time to work on your relationship with your child/ teen and talk about your values to help guide them. Always remember to show them you love them and normally everything will work out in the end. You will obtain the benefits of putting time into parenting. It will lead to a happy, healthy, well-behaved (normally) and close relationship with your child.
I hope you have enjoyed this 10 series articles on Parenting. To read the whole series; go to www.supportivetalk.com and click on Parenting on the left side menu.
Some other parenting resources would be Positive Discipline: 41 Methods of Healthy Discipline for child rearing” by Felicity Friedman. Positive Parenting in Action by Laura Ling and Rebecca Earnes. For more Valuable Quick Parenting Tips go to www.supportivetalk.com. You can also choose to book a conversation to discuss your parenting or child discipline woes.