Disciplining children, a tough issue with parents:
Everyone wants to have the ideal life and family; filled with love, caring, sharing and kindness.
But life can be difficult. Today the typical family consists of a single parent who may need help on the topic of raising their children.
There are some hard facts about life, some are subtle nuances of things that people may do differently then we do. Sometimes we see things that we really do not agree with, but controversy is part of life too. There are pros and cons to every life situation.
Disciplining children for example is something you would think that I, a person who has 4 children should be good at, but I am not always sure I have done the right things in raising my kids. I am sure there is someone out there that could have given me a few tips, but did not want to interfere with “my style” of raising my children!
Today, I do interfere, give advice or try to intervene to help my children raise their children.
As a grandparent, it is easy to see some of the mistakes that my kids make, sometimes I tell them, sometimes not.
I always look for authorities on the subject. Where do you draw the line between being too permissive with your child, or too strick? Positive parenting should be a good goal. You want to discipline, but in a positive manner, not negative consequences.
I looked at some examples and the best new methods on parenting includes an article submitted annoymously on www.askdrsears.com
1. Connect before you direct. Make sure your child is looking at you. Make eye contact with them. It is important to engage them into your conversation.
Ex: “Johnny, I need to see your eyes.” Body language is also important when listening to your child.
2. Address your child with their name, “ Danny, would you please put the chair down.”
3. Stay brief. Remember that most children, especially under the age of 6 get sidetracked. Use the one-sentence rule. Put the main directive. The longer you ramble, the more your child become parent-deaf.
4. Stay simple. Use short, simple one-syllable words. Listen to how kids communicate with each other, and take notes.
5. Ask your child to repeat back what you have told them. If he or she cannot, your request is too complicated.
6. Make an offer your child cannot refuse. “Get dressed so you can go outside and play.” This give a child a reason to move out of their power position of doing what they want to do!
7. Try to rephrase in a positive way. Instead of, “stop running” you can say. “Inside we walk, outside you may run.”
8. Always begin your directives with: “I want”
“I want you to get down from that chair.” “I want you to give Becky a turn.”
By saying I want, you give your child a reason to comply rather than just an order.
9. “Use- When… then.” ” When you get your teeth brushed, then we can read the story.” “When your homework is finished, then you can watch TV.” When implies that you expect obedience, and it works better than “if”
10. Legs first- mouth second… Instead of yelling “turn off the TV!” Walk into the room, where you child is watching TV and join them for a few minutes, then during a commercial, have your child turn off the TV. This conveys that you are serious about your request.
11. Give Choices. ” Do you want to put on your pajamas or brush your teeth first?”
12. Always speak developmentally correct. The younger the child, the shorter the sentences. Also, consider your child’s level of understanding. A common example is a parent of a 3 year old asking them: “Why did you do that?” Instead- “Let’s talk about what you did.”
13. Speak socially correct. Even a very young child can be polite. Children should not feel that manners are optional. Speak to your child the way you would like them to speak to you.
14. Threats, judgement put children on the defense. Use “I” messages, they are non-accusing. Instead of: “You better do this… You must do that… Try: ” I would like you to clear the table.” or ” ” I am so pleased when you finish your homework”
15. Write it down. Reminders are helpful.Without saying a word you can communicate with your child. Talk with a pad and pencil. Hang a white board. Leave humorous notes or pictures for a young child.
16. Speaking Softly. Take down to your child. The louder they become, the lower your voice. When your child needs to ventilate you can listen and use timely comments: ” Can I help?” I understand…” Sometimes your child just needs a good listener. If you come in at his/her level – you will have 2 tantrums!
17. Settle down. Be calming Before you give your child any directive, make sure there is balance. If there is not equilibrium, you are wasting your time.
18. Replay your message. As your child grows, they will need less and less repeating. For ex: A toddler may need to be told something numerous times, but as a child grows, less repeating is needed, they understand your directives. And preteens regard repetition as nagging.
19. Let your child complete their thoughts. Instead of : ” don’t leave your mess piled up.” Try: “Think of where you would like to store your toys.”
20.Use some rhymes with rules. “ If you hit, you must sit.” Get your child to repeat them.
21. Give likable alternatives. “You cannot go off by yourself to the park; but you can play in the neighbors yard.”
22.Give advance notice. ” We will be leaving soon. Say good-bye to grandma.”
23. Open up a closed child. Carefully chosen phrases open up closed minds and mouths. Stick to the topic that you know your child gets excited about. Ask questions that require more than a “yes or no” answer. Stick to specifics. Instead of ” Did you have a good day at school?” try – ” What is the most fun thing you did today?”
24. Use: “When you… I feel…. “When you run away from mommy in the store, I feel worried because you might get lost”
25. Close the discussion. If a matter is really closed to discussion, say so. “I am not changing my mind about this. Sorry”
You save wear and tear on both you and your child if you reserve your, “I mean business” tone of voice for when you do.
Taken in part from: Ways to Talk So Children Will Listen. http://askdrsears.com