Best Way To Discipline Your Child
At some point in your child’s life you will need to take away privileges. It isn’t easy and believe me, it will be almost as hard on you as it is on them. They will whine, beg and bargain to get their stuff back or get out of that chair but you have to hold your ground.
Get All The Facts
Make sure you have as much information as possible before doling out punishment. If you weren’t present to see the deed, call other parents, teachers or adults who were there or talk to kids who may know more details.
Don’t take one adult’s story over your child’s. Most grown ups are mature and don’t pick on kids but some are not. If your son or daughter is adamant that they are innocent, look into it. Don’t assume a teacher or parent is always right.
Make the Punishment Fit the Crime
To you three months may not seem like very long but to a teenager it is a lifetime. If the time is too long some will rebel and sneak around to get privileges back. You can actually make a child worse by giving a too severe sentence.
Experts say a time-out (the little tots equivalent of grounding) should be a minute per year of age. It’s a good idea to have a timeout chair that is only used when junior is in trouble. A minute timer helps so that they don't have to keep asking if they can get up yet. Little ones can't tell time.
For older kids, it helps to write it on a calendar that way they have tangible evidence of their freedom and won’t keep asking you.
Don’t Discuss Punishment While Angry
If you are about to explode send them to their room and give them an appointment time of when you will discuss punishment in a couple of hours or however long you need. Don’t make them wait too long as that is punishment in itself.
Meditate, burn sagebrush, listen to soothing music, do yoga or T’ai Chi or take a nap, whatever works to calm you down so you don’t kill them.
If during your discussion with them you feel you are losing your cool, take a break and have them come back later.
Looking at your sweet little infant now while they sleep, you probably can’t imagine ever being that mad…it will happen especially if you are a man.
Don’t Back Down-
Kids are smart. If whining gets them less time they will do it every time and it will wear you down. Keeping to the agreement teaches them that no amount of complaining will get their way and they eventually stop.
When you give the initial grounding tell them if they whine about it you will add more time to the grounding. This usually puts a stop to grumbling.
Types of Punishment-
Simply sending them to their room isn’t really much punishment these days since kids have a plethora of electronics and entertainment options.
Taking away electronic gadgets, television, computer or mode of transportation: car, bicycle or motorcycle works for older children. If there are times they are home alone before you get off work you may need to hide cables, batteries or lock them up.
If you’ve taken the computer away and they need it for school make sure they are in the same room with you so you can monitor what they are doing and not playing on social networking sites.
Cell phones are not a necessity even though we think so. Unless they will be at a sports practice or church activity where they will have to call for a ride, in most cases they can do without it.
Don't make things like reading or exercise punishment.
If you tell your child they must read four books before they can have privileges back or make them do push ups they will associate those things as bad. Reading and exercise are important parts of a healthy life and you don't want to give your child a negative assessment of them.
I also don't think it is a good idea to take books away as punishment. Even if you have a bookworm in the family it is a good idea to use some other form of discipline.
Be careful what you use as penalty because it can cause kids to detest those things later on. This is why taking away privileges is a better solution.
Admit When You Are Wrong-
Sometimes we get information wrong or we make incorrect assumptions. This is why it’s good to have a cool down time.
If you have punished your child and later find out they were not in trouble after all apologize and make restitution. This shows them it’s important to admit when we make mistakes, it’s okay to talk about it and when we are wrong we should make it right.
Being too proud to admit an error sends children the wrong message. They learn a lot from our behavior and attitude. We are their biggest role models whether we realize it or not.
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