We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: parenting is a journey. Although we’re all on different journeys, we probably may have similar goals for our children. Finding a perfect balance for disciplining our children in a positive way can be challenging. Here are three pieces of advice from experts.
Try To Understand The Meaning Behind The Behavior
Naomi Aldort, the author of “Raising Our Children, Raising Ourselves,” says that children want to behave well; if they seem to miss the mark, it’s not wit hour a valid reason. “The most important [thing] is to realize that whatever a child does, we may label as bad, [but really] the child is doing the best he can. It’s our job as parents to find out why [he is] doing it,” says Adlort. “Once we know the valid root of the behavior, we can easily remove the cause or heal the emotions, and the child won’t be driven to behave in that way anymore.
Focus On Controlling Yourself – Not Your Child
It can be challenging to keep calm in the heat of the moment. Dr. Katharine C. Kersey, the author of “The 101s: A Guide to Positive Discipline,” recommends parents model the types of behavior they want their children to pick up on. “We should not do anything in front of [our children] that we don’t want them to do,” she advises. In the case of an extreme behavior disaster, this may be counting to 10, taking a deep breath or stepping away from the situation for a few minutes to collect yourself.
Jim Fay, the founder of the organization Love and Logic, agrees says that “anger and frustration feed misbehavior.” Fay suggests an unusual tactic for keeping your voice in check: instead of yelling at your child when they do something wrong, try singing it. Fay talks about the “Uh Oh” song. If a gets into a cabinet after he’s been asked not to, you might sing “Uh oh, that’s sad you got into the cabinet again. I think it’s time we get a time out.”
Be Consistent with Your Expectations
According to Aldort, parents often overlook certain behavior in the hope that it will pass. “But guess what? She says. “It doesn’t pass.” If your child throws a toy at another child, for instance, you should hold their arm and tell them that their behavior is not acceptable. If they continue, then it is time to remove them from the situation.
Children will often try to test the limits and argue about the rules. In these situations, Fay suggests repeating “I love you too much to argue.”
We hope you found some value in these three tips. Stay tuned for part two with four more tips for positive discipline.