may have FREEDOM of choice, but NO one can escape the CONSEQUENSES of their
choice!"- Ruth Elliott
By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest. - Confucius
"How shall I Discipline
my child properly?"
Should there be different kinds of discipline for different ages? OF COURSE!
BABIES: BABIES should NEVER be spanked (you know what they say, you can't spoil a baby!) Clear communication between parent and child is essential for a secure infant. A marvelous researcher, Magda Gerber, who founded RIE (RESOURCES for INFANT EDUCARERS) shares many wonderful helps: http://www.rie.org/educaring/ries-basic-principles
MAGDA GERBER helps us in SEEING BABIES WITH NEW EYES! http://www.magdagerber.org/3/category/rie%20basic%20principles/1.html
Click on these various links to understand how to interpret their cries and also learn to comfort a crying baby. You can also get the DVD from Priscilla Duncan, who discovered the 'secret language of babies' (Paraphrased simple version HERE).
To teach your baby sign language, check out this link.
Always let your child know you love them. Lots of HUGS will cure most every Ill!
MORE TIPS ON BABIES HERE!
TODDLERS: what TODDLERS need is 1- Constant observation 2- someone to patiently direct them towards positive age appropriate activites, and 3- intentional guidance to distract them away from things that would lead them astray, and 4- when they do get into trouble or make a mistake, to patiently explain why it was not good to do that, or could hurt them, etc. Read more Great tips for toddlers here....
IN OTHER WORDS: You have to WATCH THEM ALL THE TIME! Hence my famous quotation: "Why are the TERRIBLE TWOS so terrible? Because:You keep THEM from doing what THEY want to do, and they keep YOU from doing what YOU want to do!"–Ruth Elliott
There's no better "TODDLER WHISPERER" than CHRIS THOMPSON to teach you how to handle Your KIDS! His techniques of mastering verbal skills even works on adults! (click the pic)
Here's a talk from Dr. Harvey Karp on TODDLERS and discipline...
We know that SPANKING CAN LEAD TO AGGRESSIVE BEHAVIOR later on... (the article is in TIME here)
So What Should You DO when they disobey?
3 to 12 Yr old CHILDREN: When a 3 to12 year old CHILD disobeys, use NON-physical consequenses, along with reasoning and explaining why they shouldn't do whatever it is they did. Chris Thompson recommends asking them what were they thinking when they acted that way. Perhaps something was going on they weren't able to express. That way you are more likely to arrive at the CAUSE of the misbehavior. WATCH THIS VALUABLE VIDEO HERE.
If you did mention a consequence beforehand, you must be consistent, and faithful to do what you said you will do or they will never believe you mean what you say. Just not getting their expected reward at the end of the week can usually be enough of a consequense to motivate most kids to never want to avoid doing the positive behavior the following week, though it is good to have an immediate consequence if they have a short attention span. No TV, or dessert etc.
IF it is an accidental mistake, and not a deliberate disobedience, give your child a chance to correct their mistakes and avoid the consequenses if there is still time, so they won't lose heart. For instance, you might say, "OH! I SEE YOUR SHOES ON THE FLOOR! QUICK! PUT THEM AWAY SO YOU WON"T MISS YOUR TREAT ON SATURDAY!" That way they will know you are on their side, and that you want them to succeed. But if they have NOT done what it is they should have, after you deliberately gave them a WARNING that they would not get that treat or privilege, do NOT give it to them no matter how much they cry or whine for it. They will learn that you mean what they say. Here are some other ideas about rewards at this link.
There are always times when fear of losing a reward isn't good enough, and strong willed kids will test you to the limit! This is when you have to be smarter than they are.
Various other options are still available to parents. If reasoning with the child doesn't work, then some form of NON-corporal punishment should be used (Time-outs, restrictions, loss of privileges, etc.) If the child still refuses to comply it is good to have a NON-ABUSIVE method of corporal punishment that you can perform without anger to show the child that YOU are still the BOSS, YOU are in CHARGE; that YOU are the PARENT, and THEY are the CHILD. For instance if you are at the grocery store when you child demands a toy or acts badly in some other way, Dr. Dobson recommended placing your hand on their shoulder and squeezing the trapezius muscle just enough to cause discomfort, as you firmly say something like, "Now settle down. You'll NEVER get your own way THAT way!" (The trapezius muscle is the area between the top of the shoulder and the neck.) You may only have to exercise this technique a few times before they get the idea that you mean what you say and you are NOT going to back down!
Read more about what NOT to say when a kid disobeys!
may have FREEDOM of choice, but NO one can escape the CONSEQUENSES of their
choice! Children need to know there are results to how they choose. YOU can't make their choice for them, but you can teach them to choose wisely! According to Child
Psychologist, Dr. Dobson, you shouldn't punish children for an accidental mistake, but only for direct disobedience and defiance of a clearly stated
rule that is established beforehand. Therefore, a child who accidentally
spills their milk should not be punished, but only shown how to clean up
their mess. They would be reacted to differently than a child who throws his
glass on the floor on purpose. Every action can open a door to dialogue and more communication about what they did and how to avoid it next time.
The attitude of the heart, and not the action
itself should determine the consequence. Most of you already know that physical violence or yelling is bad for kids. Some great age-specific tips on Discipline are at this outside link - and for more ideas, keep reading below.
Keep in mind: The TIME you spend with your kids NOW will limit the time AND money you have to spend on counseling and psychiatrists LATER!
Here are some GREAT free tips here about getting back your PARENTING POWER!
"What should I do when they have a MELTDOWN?"
(Note: a Meltdown is different than defiance)
A Pediatrician I truly admire is Claudia Gold, who gives great insight on Children's Mental Health. Her Blog is wonderful! She advises something I always instinctively felt: That at at time when kids lose control, their mental state reverts to the level of a helpless infant. Better than isolating them with a 'time out', they need to know you are THERE. To abandon them further can actually hurt rather than help. Even if they won't let you hold them or hug them, when you express your concern for their feelings with your loving presence it will go further to allow them to calm down till their brains can enter into a rational state of mind again. Read more on her blog here: http://claudiamgoldmd.blogspot.com/2012/09/never-leave-child-alone-during-meltdown.html
Get your FREE CUSTOMIZABLE Behavior CHART from GoMommyGO®
Then Get a PLAN to start helping your kids NOW! (click here)
Learning to get along
"There are all kinds of mean people in the world. Your job is not to become one of them !"- Ruth Elliott
Don't let them AVOID the Consequenses of their behavior!
(If they Fight, SEND THEM to ‘THE
in to 'The Chair' worked wonders for our kids!
to get along with Others
My kids told me the only times they saw me get really mad was when they would be mean to each other.
One of the things
that really worked well for us as a big family was a Time out on 'the
CHAIR' - the Consequence the children would DREAD the most! This is how
it worked: If the children were fighting for instance, they would each
have to sit opposite each other on a chair (not too close). For children
8-10 years old I would set the timer for 5 minutes, and say "OK - you
know the rules: you must face each other, but no talking or noises, making
faces or sticking out your tongue, no kicking, and no rude gestures. If
anyone breaks the rules you both get 5 more minutes on the timer."
Then I would stand and 'police' their behavior on the chairs. (This was
the hard part for me! In Jail, the jailer is a prisoner, too!) The moment
anyone made an infraction of the rules I would immediately announce "5 MORE
MINUTES" and set the timer 5 minutes ahead of where it was.
The most I had to watch them fidget till they settled down to their fate
was 25 minutes! (Don't let it go more than a half hour - that's enough punishment
for anyone!) But it never happened again in our family after that! By the next time they were sent
to 'the chair' they were actually quiet for the full 5 minutes, determined not
to have to suffer longer than necessary! Also, by the time it was over, they were usually
ready to be friends again! Anything rather than be bored on 'the chair'! FOR YOUNGER CHILDREN, MAKING THEM SIT FOR JUST ONE
MINUTE AT A TIME/WITH A ONE-MINUTE PENALTY can be just as effective, and not as frustrating. When my kids fought over 'objects', I would do two things. Immediately take away the items disputed over. They learned right away, FIGHTING = LOSING. They would lose what it was they thought was more important than the other human beings in their lives. I would take it away at least for the rest of the day, or until they could agree to play nicely. The other thing I would do is make them each do an extra chore for punishment. I always had a list of extra chores to do on the FRIDGE, that were separate from their regular chores. If they disobeyed any of the rules (No fighting was one of them) then I would dole out an extra chore. Extra chores as punishment was something we had agreed upon previously in a family meeting (which we had plenty of, usually once a week). REMEMBER! PLANNING IN ADVANCE is KEY! PLAN FAMILY MEETINGS and as new problems come up agree to bring them up at the next family meeting - call a family meeting that very night if needed. Then
they can talk out their problems in a logical and calm fashion,
and should be able to figure out the reason they got so upset, and how to solve problems fairly.
Not getting your own way is NOT a valid reason to become angry. If a lack of self control is a continual problem, sometimes professional
counseling is needed. Sometimes diet can cause behavior problems, too. My children would
become hyper if I let them eat candy, soda, dessert, or artificial colors,
so I would limit those treats to the weekends, and only as a reward for
good behavior if their chart was completed
by Saturday. I could stand a barrel of monkeys once a week (they loved it!)
but not every day!
SPANKING is only a short term answer that can create WORSE problems in the LONG RUN!
for TEENS: Remember to Create a CHORE CHART for your OLDER KIDS too!
Lets face it - TEENS are too old to spank, and it doesn't work, anyway. If they do
openly defy your rules, other options are still available to you. Some children are compliant and respond to your wishes better than others, so learn how to motivate others the best way (click here for links to outside help). (Also here) Since many people
were never taught by their parents that there were other alternatives to
spanking, the information I share here emphasizes non-physical consequences to use
instead of spanking. In my experience there are many ways to get your point across without spanking. I seem to remember my mother being very firm with us kids, without ever hitting us. FIrst of all, she was bigger, and could sound autoritative as she declared, "I have been around on this earth a long time and know a lot more than YOU do, and I can tell you right now you're never going to get anywhere in life with that type of behavior!" She helped me see that perhaps I was in the wrong! Then she would lecture us about life and how to behave, and let us know what would happen if we did it again.
If a child has made a mistake, they need to say "I'm Sorry", then try to make up for whatever they did the best they can. For
instance, if they break something, to offer to repair or replace it. If
a child hurts another sibling we sometimes made the consequense that they would have to do one of the other child's chores as a penalty. Losing their temper, name calling or saying bad words on purpose, would give them a loss of privileges,
too. For instance: No TV or video games, No Dessert, or Grounded from the telephone
for a certain period, grounded from weekend activities, write a report on why what
you did was wrong, or some other activity they don't like but won't hurt them. We had a list of unpleasant chores everyone hated (and I usually ended up doing) that I kept off their list of regular chores for just such an occaision, and would make that their penalty sometimes. For instance: changing the cat litter box, cleaning out the trash cans, cleaning windows, washing the bathroom floor thoroughly (especially under the toilet) cleaning the rabbit or hamster cage, depending on which animal we happened to have at the time, etc. You can think of more!
There are many things you can do to punish them according to their age levels ('spend more quiet time', loss of privileges (like TV, Video games, cell phone, internet) friends, going to bed early, no reward for that week, extra chores, etc. These are all good deterrants to bad behavior. When my younger kids would start acting up, many times I only had to say, "I guess there won't be any candy or soda for you guys on Saturday - You just can't seem to control yourselves!" And immediately they'd protest, "Yes we CAN!" and that would be the only warning needed. We restricted their TV and monitored what they watched at all times. If they would act out something I felt they learned from TV I would say, "I guess you shouldn't have watched that TV program. It made you act badly just now. I guess there won't be any TV for a while. Or If they said something like, "I'm BORED!" I'd immediately say, "Oh, if you can't find something creative to do, I've got some work for you to do!" and they'd quickly find another interest to keep them busy. Provide them with hobbies, books and games to keep them occupied instead of TV and they will become accustomed to being productive instead of lazy!
1-REASON, NEGOTIATE and WIN their HEARTS FIRST - BEFORE they need DISCIPLINING. NURTURE THEIR TALENTS and Abilities when they are little so they have things to be PROUD OF and they won't be full of self destructive anger when they are teens! Get a PLAN HERE
2-WARN THEM IN ADVANCE what will happen if they deliberately disobey the RULES.
PLAN in advance what the CONSEQUENSE will be when they disobey. Make sure they know what that consequense will be to avoid misunderstandings. It's not fair to punish them if you haven't let them know about it beforehand. IF a new misbehavior comes up unexpectedly, and you haven't told them in advance, let them know immediately that "THIS IS NOT ACCEPTABLE" and that NEXT time they WILL be punished for it. Since thinking of others welfare is paramount, make sure one of your family rules includes:
"TREAT OTHERS THE WAY YOU WANT TO BE TREATED".
SAVE THE BIG GUNS FOR THE BIG THINGS! Don't be a petty perfectionist and get upset about little things that are no big deal in the end. As long as you see your kids progressing in their interests and staying away from drugs, etc. BE HAPPY!
MOTIVATING YOUR CHILD
Basically there are only 4 ways to motivate a person to act or behave a
From the least effective (in the long run) to the best, here are the different
This is where you are basically saying "DO it or else".
GUILT: This is where you attempt to make the person feel bad if they don't
help you. For instance, "Why do you make me suffer like this? I'm
working so hard for you...", etc, etc.
The carrot at the end of the stick, the "If you do this, I'll do
A person will go to the ends of the earth, without pay, for someone they
I once heard someone*say:“Rules
without Relationship lead to Rebellion”
* (I believe it was Steve Arterburn who said it on the radio program, NEW LIFE
LIVE,--- and I agree!!)
Using the two HIGHEST ways to motivate your child, INCENTIVES (Rules), with LOVE (Relationship)
gives you a much better chance of success at motivating your children. When you use INCENTIVES (the sticker chart approach) they get something, PLUS they they will work harder if they love you!
I've heard some parents question: "Why do we use incentives? Isn't that just teaching kids to be greedy?"
Absolutely NOT. Using Incentives teaches kids that HARD WORK PAYS OFF!
Let's face it. Would you go to work if they didn't PAY YOU at the end of the week?
Probably not. But if you have a nice boss it's always easier than if you have a mean boss, right? That's why our voice and actions must always express love, and not resentment
or anger. Why? All people respond positively to love, and negatively to anger,
which will only produce fear, not love, and will hinder their enthusiasm for helping you. Would YOU want to work hard for a 'Snidely Whiplash" boss? I wouldn't - but I'd go to the ends of the earth to help someone I love!
My mom used to say, "You get more flies with honey than with vinegar!" She was actually paraphrasing Benjamin Franklin who said, "Tart words make no friends: A spoonful of honey will catch more flies than a Gallon of Vinegar." But I got the point. And it works with kids as well as adults. The thing I liked about my mom was that she always knew how to distract us with something more fun than getting into a fight with our sister or brother, or could make the most boring thing interesting, by pointing out some obscure fact I hadn't noticed before. In any case, Never underestimate the power, YOUR power, of enthusiasm to awaken the curiosity and intelligence in your child. Get them interested in something. In LIFE. Get them so busy DOING things - Good things - that they are too busy to get into trouble. It's really true that 'the devil makes work for idle hands'. Show them how to OBSERVE things in nature. Let them listen to beautiful music when they are babies. It's been proven to make our brains smarter. You might just raise a genius. Or a scientist. Who knows what seeds will grow. Just plant them, water them and you'll end up with lots of GOOD ones! (Some ideas on how to grow a smarter brain in your child are here).
Check these other tips if you haven't yet (THEY REALLY WORK!):
Make a 'ThankDon't Spank' BEHAVIOR CHART for younger kids
A CHORE CHART for OLDER KIDS
FIND THE BEHAVIORS TO REINFORCE
Here is a GREAT idea for discipline I found on the web - works like a game:
"The BETTER Behavior WHEEL" (invented by a creative MOM who sells her a computer version here for PC's only)
CHILD TO CLEAN THEIR ROOM:
least) in every parent's life there will come a time when a child's room
is a disaster area. The simple command "Clean your Room" doesn't
work when the job is too overwhelming to know where to begin. A great way
to get your child to organize their room in less than 15 minutes is to use
the C-T-T Method. This is how it works:
stands for Toys
stands for Trash
1- C- First pick
up all Clothes you find - quickly - in less
than 5 minutes!
2- T- Then pick up all Toys (and put in toybox) -
in less than 5 minutes!
3- T- Then pick up all the Trash left -
in less than 5 minutes
is to be the CHEERLEADER! ACT LIKE IT's A GAME! Let them know that you will assist in directing
the process, and time them doing it. Since this is a bigger job than a mere
sticker will reward, Let them know this will be a fun event that will have
a bigger reward (like going out for an ice cream cone or a trip to the 99cent
store to pick out a treat for themselves afterwards). If you cannot go out, then perhaps
offer a special dessert or treat you know they love as a reward. To get
the child started out picking up the clothes (#1) START the game,
and show then how to toss the first couple of clothes into a pile as fast as possible! Once
you've shown them, then let THEM do it. Do the same with the Toys
(#2) and Trash(#3). This is a quick way to get the bulk of the work done,
and then you can canquer the details after that!
site represents personal opinions meant for informational purposes
only, and is not meant to substitute for professional advice.
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