So, you get a call from your child’s school complaining about his behavior. That’s not uncommon, is it? Yes, but you never thought it would be your child who would behave in such a way. May be this scenario doesn’t happen, but you do worry that someday it might happen and it might be possible that you do not know how to deal with this kind of a situation. As one of my favorite proverbs go ‘Prevention is better than cure’. Then why not avoid facing this situation before it arrives itself?
TCT, brings to you 5 such ways through which you can discipline your child. Start disciplining them as a preschooler or toddler to avoid them altogether
1. The reward and punishment technique:
This always works! Even at this age, when we get rewarded or acknowledged for good work, we are overjoyed. Imagine how well it will work for a toddler? If you’re teaching them this, then also show the other side of the coin. That if they do not behave in a particular way or misbehave there will be unlikable consequences. But, remember not to be too harsh about the punishments because that sometimes negates the effect. Some kids either go into a shell or start behaving more violently because of harsh punishments. Keep this in mind too, always.
2. Set the rules:
Be clear about communicating the rules and getting them to follow through. I once came across a child who was constantly shouting loudly at a shopping mall. The mother was just not able to make him quiet, whatever she tried. The child went on to say “But, at home I’m allowed, when not here?!!”. This led me to thinking, may be the rules need to be more clearly explained. Also, some parents make the mistake of overlooking their child’s bad behavior. Never do this! This encourages your toddler to do it over and over again. So, tell them you’re the boss, you make the rules and that if not followed, there will be consequences. Most importantly, make sure you follow through with these rules and the impending punishment if your preschooler doesn’t follow it.
3. Be a role model by disciplining yourself:
It is an established fact that children learn from what they see, listen and observe around them. And that too easily and quickly. If you yourself are not taking care of what you speak and how you behave around your toddler, chances are very high that he/she will learn the same. Abusive language, mistreating people, not keeping things in an organized way are just some of the bad habits your child is likely to pick up from you. So, train yourself first in order to train them !
4. Attention works wonders:
Most children go off track because of lack of attention. A child is nothing less than a plant, that needs constant protection and attention. It has been seen that most toddlers misbehave just to get their parents attention. Why ignore someone who you are responsible for getting into this world? Would you have liked it if your parents hadn’t given you the care and concern that you always cherish? Parenting is actually an art of paying attention, and the number one element of disciplining is paying attention to your child. Everything you need to know about parenting your children can be learnt just by paying close attention to your toddler.Understand the fact that if you fail to know your child, you will never understand what’s wrong when things go wrong. Paying attention will help you understand how to make things right for your child, at the right time and before trouble sets in.
5. Turn the ‘no’ into ‘yes’:
“Instead of saying ‘No’, which usually triggers a tantrum, try to give a positive reply instead. If your toddler asks, ‘Mom, can I have a cookie?’ say something like, ‘Of course you can – but not now” or “Yes, of course, but maybe after you eat dinner.’ Or- if they want to watch TV and it’s not a good time to do so, say, ‘Surely you can, but only after you’ve put your toys back into their place’ or ‘Yes, of course, but first let’s play outside for an hour.’
Here’s hoping these 5 ways, help you train your child to be disciplined and that the dreaded phone call from the school never happens! There are other ways to achieve this and you may, of course learn new ways along the path. So, go ahead and start executing and learning. You might come up with better methods and be able to help others around!
(as published on The Champa Tree)