Have you ever wished for an easier way to teach discipline in the home? Wouldn’t it be great to just say a magic word and then watch a child’s negative behavior disappear? Well, so do I but we know that is not about to happen. There is no easy formula for responding to a child’s negative behavior at any age. I would suggest that there are little things parents/grandparents can do to promote self-disciplined and responsible behavior in the home environment even during the early years.
Positive Approaches to Negative Behavior
Practice what you teach!
One point of interest that I must emphasize is that parents and grandparents are models for their children. We can set positive or negative examples by the way we communicate and interact with other adults and even with children. The key to reducing a child’s negative behavior is to increase positive messages that we send in the home. Children may not always listen to what we say, but rather they watch what we do. By focusing on positive messages and speaking to children with respect, we can send a message that will encourage children to also show respectful behavior to others.
Children may not remember what you say, but they remember what you do!
The key to modeling appropriate behavior for children is to remember to set expectations that are realistic so that we essentially set our students up for success. Take time to discuss your expectations and invite the child to participate in this process. As you set rules and boundaries in the home, remember what I call the FFC rule – Be firm, fair, and consistent. This rule applies to the child’s behavior and also to your behavior as you model and practice what you preach.
Top 10 Discipline Tips
The following list includes my top 10 discipline tips for parents/grandparents. These are steps to set the stage for children to grow responsibly despite the negative pressures and influences in our society:
1. Decide on the rules for your child/children/grandchildren.
2. Involve your child in setting rules and consequences.
3. Set realistic expectations – (firm, fair, consistent)
4. Change your talk to model positive communication and respect for others.
5. Invest time talking and encouraging your child to share ideas for implementing rules and consequences in the home.
6. Practice what you teach. Model appropriate adult behavior in the home.
7. Listen and learn from your child. Allow children to learn from their experiences and to discuss situations to determine right from wrong.
8. Invite new ideas. Read articles, books, and attend workshops to learn new techniques and approaches to positive discipline.
9. Notice good behavior and focus on positives. Catch your child doing something good and commend him/her for making responsible behavior choices.
10. Encourage self-disciplined behavior by allowing children to make healthy choices that will determine positive and rewarding consequences.
Please use these 10 tips as reminders to promote positive behavior among students so that they may lead productive and responsible lives even when you are not looking. As you make an investment of time modeling and teaching positive discipline in the home, you will make tremendous deposits that will yield a valuable return on your investment. WOW! What am I saying here? What you deposit in children today will have an impact on the choices they will make tomorrow in the real world. So I invite you to make an investment in your child’s learning experiences and enjoy the benefits that it will bring to you and your family.
Thanks for making a difference by investing in the lives of our children!