How to Handle Children Discipline Carefully – The Dos and Don’ts

Ignore the unimportant

As parents we can’t help ourselves, our child waves a fragment of red rag and we charge like a wounded bull. If the plan is to maintain your blood pressure at a life-preserving level, please try to ignore unimportant irritations. If they blow a raspberry, slurp their drink or a pea falls to the floor, ask yourself, ‘Does this really matter?’ Successful parents take a step back and only engage in the big battles.

Know what triggers behavior

There are certain events that are dynamite to discipline: parties, tiredness, living with in-laws, visits from school friends, sickness, long car journeys and changes of routine. We can’t always avoid these, but it is easier to cope when we are prepared for problems before they hit.

Handle Children Discipline

Make good behaviors pay off

The basic law of behavior modification states, a behavior that pays off for the child will be repeated; a behavior that brings no advantage to the child will disappear.’ If we reward the right behavior it should happen more frequently, and by ignoring what’s undesired, it should go away.

Unfortunately, it is just as easy to encourage the bad behavior as the good. A five-year-old says, ‘Bum.’ We make a fuss and soon it’s ‘Bum, bum, bum, pooh!’ Parents must take a step back and be sure it is the good we are encouraging, not the bad.

Use encouragement and rewards

Good behavior is encouraged with soft rewards (praise, enthusiasm, interest, parental pride), hard rewards (money, food, special privileges) and cumulative rewards (stars, points, tokens). Though privileges, tokens (and even bribes) have a place, the most effective way to mould behavior is through our voice, eyes and interest. Never underestimate the power of encouragement through these soft, subtle rewards.

Democracy without debate

When it comes to democracy, the under-fives can be told what they will do, the five- to eight-year-olds should be given some explanation and the eight to twelve need some say in their own destiny. Democracy is commendable but it can be abused by these over-verbal mini lawyers. Be respectful but don’t be manipulated with arguments and debates. In these, parents never come out on top; it just shortens our lives. Make your point, state the limit, act, don’t argue.

Avoid escalation

When we get irritated with our children it is easy to lose the plot and escalate every unimportant behavior. Try to stay calm, use a matter-of-fact voice and repeat your instructions like a broken gramophone record. Children generate enough heat without us adding fuel to the fire.

Filed Under: Family & Relationships


About the Author: Roberta Southworth is a psychiatrist by profession. She likes to help out people by writing informative tips on how people can to solve their family and relationship issues. She is currently staying in Ireland. She has 5 years of couple counseling experience.

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