Discipline for Young Children

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Discipline for Young Children

مُساهمة  nerjeen.laktineh في الجمعة يونيو 17, 2011 11:38 am

Sometimes parents are forced to take action despite all their efforts to prevent misbehavior. They may have tried changing the setting, using more "do's" than "don't's," checked on the child's health needs, and still be faced with quarreling, misbehaving children.

Using effective discipline methods in response to misbehavior benefits both parent and child. The child learns to take responsibility for his own behavior and the parent keeps a warm relationship with him.

Each method discussed here asks, "How can I help this child find a positive way of behaving without reinforcing the negative behavior?" Effective discipline methods help children learn and grow in harmony with one another.

Choose the method best suited to you and your child. What is effective for some parents and children may not be effective for others. Keep in mind, however, that if you want children to change, you must also be willing to change.
Divert Their Attention

Infants and toddlers are easily distracted. For example, the young child's attention can be diverted from playing with your watch to playing with toy keys, or from pulling your hair to shaking a rattle. He quickly forgets about playing with your watch and pulling your hair.

Diverting the child's attention from an activity you disapprove of to one you approve of is a challenge. If Laurie is attracted to an expensive lamp, divert her attention from the lamp with a bit of attention from you such as a game of peek-a boo. (Then remove the lamp from her sight and reach. Don't tempt her).

Calling attention to the good behavior of one child may cause a misbehaving child to take it as a reminder to change his behavior. Care needs to be taken, however, in not letting the positive comment about one child sound like it was meant to criticize the other.

Here are some examples:

"I like the way you're sharing your toys with Judy. Sharing is hard to do."

"Oh, Ann, I'm glad you're turning the pages so gently so they don't tear. Books can be enjoyed longer that way."
Deliberately Ignore Provocations

An effective way to deal with misbehavior which is directed toward getting the parent's attention is to ignore it. But first be sure that you are giving the child your attention when he is behaving well. Children need attention, but not for misbehavior. Sometimes children misbehave just to get attention, even when the attention is negative. Children want attention, and they will get it by misbehaving if that is the only way they can get it.

A good example of this is the four year old's use of "bad words." If Michael says a bad word and his mother acts shocked or laughs, you can be sure Michael will use bad words as often as possible.

Imagine the sense of power it gives him to see his mother's reaction! On the other hand, if mother calmly says, "We don't use that word in this house," and goes on about her business, Michael will soon stop saying the word. It's no fun "taking a power trip" if there's no one to take along with you.

Sometimes, however, other children reinforce the negative behavior by serving as the child's "audience." They may call attention to the misbehavior by saying, "Michael called me a bad name." In this situation you can either ignore their comment or distract them to another activity. It may be necessary to say, "We're not paying attention to what Michael is saying now."

Ignoring misbehavior is also an effective way to deal with bickering and fighting between brothers and sisters. Jealousy, the feeling that one child gets more love and attention than the other, is often the cause of such bickering. Children know that parents will come running when they fight and argue. Disagreements between children in the family can be ignored and worked out between the children unless a very young child is in danger of physical harm.

When father hears a disagreement, he should check to see that the child is not likely to be hurt and then calmly go about his business. It is usually difficult, however, to keep from being drawn into the quarrel if the children can see you. You may need to go into your room and shut the door, or go into the bathroom and turn the water on so that the children know you can't hear them. If parents fail to come running when a disagreement occurs, one of the children will probably come running to them. "Beth won't let me play with the ball!" Or "Brian hit me and I didn't do anything to him!"

The child is trying to get the parent to take sides and scold or punish the other child. Father can calmly say, "It's sad you're having trouble, but I'm sure you can work it out yourselves."

Children need to learn not to fight and argue, but settling their conflicts for them is not the way to teach them. It may stop the fighting for the moment, but it doesn't stop the next fight or teach children a better way to settle arguments. This kind of teaching is better done during peaceful moments in a friendly way. Encourage children to express their feelings in words rather than action when they have disagreements. Jeff can be encouraged not to hit Andy, and to tell him, "I don't like it when you grab the ball away from me."

Parents who get involved in their children's fights can never be sure they are settling the fight fairly. Even if they see Jeff hit David first, they may not realize that Jeff is getting back at David for pinching him yesterday when the parents weren't looking.

When parents hover, protect, and try to settle their children's arguments, they are depriving the children of a chance to learn to get along with others. Try letting the children settle their own quarrels for a month. You will be surprised to find that they are having fewer quarrels and fights and are getting along together much better. You will notice a friendlier, happier atmosphere in your home, and you will have rid yourself of a disagreeable job.

State Consequences Firmly

One effective discipline method, often overlooked because it is so simple, is being firm. Have you ever wondered why a child does what one parent tells him to do, but doesn't do what the other tells him to do?

When parents are clear and firm about what is requested, children usually do it. Instead of saying in a wishy-washy tone of voice, "Don't you think it's time to wash your hands for dinner?" say, "It's time to wash your hands for dinner."

Your tone of voice, your words, and your actions must show that you mean what you say.

Being firm works for any age child and almost any problem. Children comply with requests when they know their parents mean business. Children know that parents mean business about playing in the street, going to school everyday, and staying off the roof. They also know when parents don't mean business.

Betsy's mother had trouble getting her to go to bed at night. She tried reasoning and cutting out TV, but nothing worked. Betsy just wouldn't go to bed at a reasonable hour. She even slept through dinner because she didn't get enough sleep the night before. The solution was found in the firm use of logical consequences: Betsy was free to decide on her bedtime but there would be no more sleeping after school or missed dinners.

It is important that children understand for certain that they have to live with the consequences of their decisions.
Don't Let The Situation Get Out Of Hand


عدد المساهمات : 51
تاريخ التسجيل : 12/05/2011

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