Today we will wrap up with more discipline techniques and tips to add to your parenting tool box!
- Use role reversals. For example, when speaking to your child, ask them "If you were the mom/dad, what would you do?"
- Provide a rich environment and opportunities. Give your child good learning opportunities and allow them to see a good model for relationships and healthy conflict skills.
- Notice effort and improvement. It can become easy to get in the habit of only pointing out what your child is doing wrong, so make sure and take notice of any improvements or efforts your child makes to change-- even if it's not perfect!
- Appreciate and acknowledge behavior you are encouraging.
- Ignore behavior you don't want, as much as you can. This is a fine line, and it's important to pick your battles! If it's a non-negotiable behavior, make sure to call it out and use discipline, but decide which behaviors you can ignore (so you aren't positively reinforcing a negative behavior).
- Attend parenting classes to learn about and enhance the use of natural and logical consequences. Natural consequences can be one of the best teachers to a child, but also the hardest for parents to do.
- Sometimes our children prefer that we just say "no", in a firm and kind voice, and don't explain. Often times, when we are explaining, it gives the child a sense that what we are telling them is open for discussion or debate. If it's not open for debate, just say no. It's easy to lose a child in too many words-- they tune you out after a few sentences.
- Respect that a child (and you) may need a time out before being able to "talk about it".
- Spend quality time with your child. "How is this a positive discipline technique?", you might ask. Children need discipline balanced with a good relationship. If you don't have a good relationship with your child, no amount of discipline will be very effective. They need to respect you, and the best way to earn their respect in return, is to build a strong and healthy relationship with them. It makes things go much smoother in the long run.
Joleen Watson, MS, LMFTA, NCC, is a therapist at Imagine Hope Counseling Group. She enjoys doing marriage counseling, relationship counseling, couples counseling, and individual counseling. Imagine Hope also specializes in family, child and adolescent counseling and serves Indianapolis area including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Noblesville, Zionsville, Westfield, and Fishers.