We'd like our children to learn from their mistakes.
So, very often, we send them to the "naughty" corner or up to their room to "think about what they've done." But, they don't! In fact, they keep doing the same thing despite the punishment.
So how should we discipline our children?
Punishment can lead to power struggles.
Usually we think of "discipline" as punishment. However, the word "discipline" actually comes from the Latin word "disciplina," which means "teaching, learning." So, giving our kids the tools they need to learn is the key to teaching them better behaviours.
If we discipline in ways that punish and have children "pay" for their mistakes, our children doesn't learn how to make better choices next time.
Punishment can lead to power struggles. Kids learn quickly that this gives them attention they seek and they'll keep doing the very behaviour we're trying to discourage and change.
Focus on three areas to discipline your child:
1.Give them Positive Attention
2.Model and Notice
3.Set limits and stick to them.
1.Give Positive Attention
Everyone needs attention and our kids are no exception. If we don't consciously give them positive attention,they'll constantly seek any form of attention even if it's negative, because negative attention is better than no attention at all.
So just take a few minutes everyday to spend some one-on –one time with your child. Take an interest in their day and do something they'd like to do without any distractions. Yes, put the phone aside and stop answering emails for just a few minutes! Play a game of their choice or share a snack together.
This will go a long way in encouraging your children to become more cooperative and more pleasant to be with and less likely to seek out negative attention.
When it comes to discipline, give them what they need so that they can avoid poor behaviour.
2. Model and Notice
The most effective way to discipline or teach better behaviours, is to model desired behaviours. Speak in a calm non sarcastic voice when you request something from them. Help them make better choices by noticing and encouraging their good choices.
"I noticed you unpacked the dishwasher. That's such a big help. I really appreciate it. Thank you." "I heard you read that book to your brother. That was so kind of you."
3.Set Limits and Stick to Them
Kids thrive when they have structure and know their boundaries. Make rules which are most important for your family. Be clear about them and what happens when someone breaks the rules.
Make consequences related to the misbehaviour. If they forget to put their dirty clothes in the hamper, they have to hang up the laundered clothes from the washing machine. Having to walk the dog an extra time because they didn't do their homework isn't related.
Make sure you are consistent every time with the agreed-upon consequences when kids don't follow the rules.
In general, the best way to discipline your child is to help them learn how to make the right choices, not by punishing them.
Be firm and give them the attention, rules and boundaries they need.
I'd love to read any suggestions or good ideas you have that have worked for you. Please share your comments below