Parenting is among the toughest jobs on earth, and it gets tougher when the strategies you are trying to use to nurture an awesome, respectful, disciplined, and empathetic child fail. You might even think of spanking them, or you might already have but, stop for a minute and think of other solutions that could work better.
While parenting structures are not one-shoe-fit-all structures, some things work better than others, but the best strategy is always the one that comes out of love. No parent disciplines their kid out of anything other than love, but kids turn out differently. If you are at a place where you are unable to find a way that works in instilling discipline, we hope that the tips and strategies shared in this article help you out.
It would appear that kids today are more undisciplined than ever before. Add that fact to your busy schedule, endless responsibilities, and the expectations from your family, friends and the whole society, it’s easy for you to yell or overreact when trying to discipline your child. And, here comes the difficult part: despite all the stresses you have, you should learn to pause – take a breath or two before you respond. Why pause? When you pause, you give your nervous system an opportunity to regulate. The pause will also give you better access to the creative and problem-solving parts of the brain. The outcome is better decision making, and you will realize that there are better ways of correcting other than ordering a timeout or yelling. But, the pause is not just good for parents; it’s good for kids because they will be able to regulate themselves too.
The pause button helps in shifting your perspectives so that your structure and requirements matter. This means that even if it’s past your child’s bedtime or its dinnertime, you can think about the preferences and the interests of your child. As a result, you will react empathically, and you will acknowledge what your child feels before you exert your authority. In short, when you pause, you get to think about other things and other people besides yourself and your calculated response will prevent overreaction from you or your child.
What choices do you have?
You’ve probably heard this before but, it works and so bear with us trying to reinforce the fact that this could be a cliché. The reason why this works well is that when you give your child a choice. Kids like to feel that they are in control and so, when you let him or her choose one thing over the other, they will stop complaining, and they will rush off to do the one thing that they prefer out of the two. Here, you need to be open-minded and creative. Note that if your child asks for one thing and you feel that there will be no harm caused, it will be okay to say yes.
The power of choice is effective when raising kids because kids tend to move or work faster when they are allowed to do what they want instead of doing what they are forced to do. So, if he or she wants to change out of their pajamas after eating, let them. The other thing you can do to diffuse upsetting situation would be taking the lead from your child. If he or she is a poor feeder or complains when you serve food, ask them what they would prefer to eat for dinner. Basically, if you want to live in a peaceful home and raise open-minded kids, you should involve your kids in the process – they will objectless, and you will still get things done your way.
Tap into humor
You don’t have to be a comedian to make kids laugh, and the deflate what could be an angry and regrettable reaction. This is because kids are childish and they will laugh at almost anything (even if it is not funny) and even believe incredulous things. Because of these facts, you can deflate a situation by tapping into your child’s funny bone to get out of that power struggle. Besides melting away the anger and frustration, humor makes it easy for your kids to take up chores and help where necessary. Instead of trying to force your child to comply with your conditions, you could use empathy to tap into your child’s deep desires. Saying something like ‘if I had a magic wand I would take us to watch Frozen now’ easily stops your child from being upset.
Connect with your kids
You probably have a long to-do list, and your mind is racing through everything; you may think that you do not have enough time to connect with your kids, but there are many opportunities you could take advantage of. On the walk to the bus stop, the drive to school or you could fit in an early morning snuggle before you have to take care of things and everyone. Why is this important? Well, kids easily stray away or adopt new and bad habits when they feel neglected. So, take time to spend with your family and don’t let work take over your life. Focus on your child as much as possible, and next time there is a disagreement, your connection with your child will prevent a big conflict, and no bad words will be spit.
You cannot be hot and cold regarding disciplining your child. If you want to discipline your child and ensure that don’t do anything bad in future, you must be consistent. Keep in mind that there is a 33 percent chance that your child will risk punishment if they know that they will get off scot-free. This also works when dealing with homework or negative behavior around a grade 12 math tutor Mississauga.
Do not reinforce bad behavior
Instead of unwittingly encouraging a negative behavior, you should give your kids more attention, even if it’s a negative form of attention. Doing that will prevent attention-seeking behaviors and power struggles so, you should avoid the behaviors instead of responding negatively.
The discipline or punishment strategy you use will vary depending on the age of your child. For example, toddlers do not respond well to verbal reasoning, and you may have to find a distraction to effect discipline. For older kids, you may have to negotiate, and you will have to try time-outs for six-year-olds. You should also identify normal disciplining behavior. Besides age appropriateness, disciplining strategies will vary depending on your child’s temperament and personality: time-outs may not work well for a kid who likes to spend time alone.
Other effective strategies include:
- Stop trying to be the perfect parent – no one is and also, stop looking at that manual because your child is unique
- Don’t be a helicopter parent to save your child exhaustion and depression
- Don’t expect your child to understand what you are going through
- Don’t be the bribe-based parent and reduce screen time (yours and your kids’_
Finally, you should realize that the key to great discipline is not to make kids act right when watched but to help your kids manage their behaviors when they are by themselves. You also need to ensure that your child perceives the punishment they get as fair, and it should target the behaviors that require change.