I love that Alexa reminded us that discipline is about teaching. So many times as parents we forget that we don't just need to eliminate the negative behavior, we need to teach (and model) the correct behavior, too. Here are some more techniques to help you on the parenthood journey.
Be reasonable. Don't expect children to act older than they are or to be perfect. Keep their age and your expectations in mind.
Assist your child to find a solution. Try not to just answer every question or to "fix" all their problems. Help them find ways to solve their own problems or to answer their own questions. This teaches them self-dependence for when they are grownups and have left the nest.
Create a distraction. Sometimes kids truly just need a distraction from what is going on. Especially young toddlers.
Negotiate a solution. This is tricky and should only be used occasionally. You don't want kids to think everything is up for negotiation. But sometimes, it's okay to compromise and show them how to negotiate.
Model cooperation. The best way to teach is to model behaviors. Show them how you cooperate as a couple or even with them as a family.
Help your child take responsibility. When a child has done something wrong, teach them that it is not about trying to talk themselves out of the trouble or blaming it on someone else. Help them see how they can own their problems and take responsibility for them.
Give chances and have boundaries. We could go on all day about the importance of boundaries with kids. It is important to remember to give chances, kids need to make mistakes and learn from them. But it's also important to only allow them to mess up so many times before a consequence is enforced. Each behavior will be different and so will each boundary.
Count Count to 10 if it's to cool you down and to 3 if it's to give a warning to a child.
Request. It's easy to get in the rut of throwing out orders and striking demands as the commander in chief of the home! But kids respond very well to requests as well. It is great modeling for positive relationship building, too!
Pick your battles, give in sometimes. It seems as though everything is a battle at times with kids. So be sure and decide which is worth fighting. And it's okay to let some go sometimes.
We wish you the best of luck with parenting. It is the most important job you will ever have! Tomorrow Joleen will give us 10 more techniques. Thank you for reading.
Written by Natalie Chandler
Natalie Chandler, MA, LMHC LCAC is a therapist at Imagine Hope Counseling Group. Natalie enjoys doing marriage counseling, individual counseling, and couples counseling. We also specialize in family counseling, child, and adolescent counseling. Imagine Hope serves the Indianapolis area including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Fishers, Noblesville, Westfield, and Zionsville