- Family and Parenting
Different Ways to discipline or punish your children or child
The different ways to discipline your toddler
We hear a lot about how NOT to punish and discipline our children nowadays, but there are not many people actually telling what the best forms of discipline are.
We hear that smacking should not be tolerated as this only teaches the child that hitting is ok, and in turn can lead too child abuse when not used correctly. Years ago this seemed to be the only form of discipline, and when you talk to the older generations they all say ‘A good smack never hurt me, it taught me to have respect for personal things and other people’. Respect, yes, well that’s another story.
Time Out Pad
One of the most favoured forms of discipline at the moment is the timeout step/area. This can be used when the child is not only naughty and behaving incorrectly, but also if they are being disruptive within a group of children. The child is placed on the bottom step of the stairs or in the corner of a room facing the wall for a set period of time; usually 1min for every year of their life i.e. a 3year old would be there for 3mins. This is not long to an adult, but to a child who just wants to get on and play, 1min seems like forever let alone 3mins or 6mins. When using this method correctly the child soon realises that when they are being unruly this is what will happen, and then they soon start to think about the consequences before they do something they shouldn't. It also important to remember that if the child leaves the chosen spot for the time-out, you should replace them at the spot and the time starts again. When replacing them it is important not to talk to them, communication is rewarding to a child.
books to help with discipline
A lot of people still agree that smacking is ok, in moderation. That it should only be used as a last resort, and if done correctly it is a good way of telling the child they have done wrong.
It is also quite possible that you may have a child that is actually quite happy to sit on the stairs or stand in the corner of a room. If this is the case then another option is to place them on a chair in the middle of a room surrounded by the things they like, but can not reach.
Tips on discipline in the home
Another option that can be used more for older children is hte 'revoke of privileges' method. This method involves taking something away from the child, such as telling them that they will not be able to attend a party or go round a friends house as planned. They will not be able to watch TV or play on their computer/games console. The most important thing to remember when carrying out this method is, TO CARRY IT OUT! If you don’t see your threat through then the child will not respond to you again as they will think that they will still be able to go to their friends house or play on the Play station etc. even if they do wrong.
Another form of discipline that is not quite so wildly used is the ‘Cause and Affect’. This method looks at teaching your child what happens when they throw their cup of drink on the floor in temper, or tip their paint tubs all over the table. Obvious to an adult, but to a child who knows no better they do not realise that when they do this, the cup and the paint tubs are now empty. It would seem very petty not to refill them and allow them to drink their drink or carry on painting, but by doing this they are not realising that when something is empty, it cannot always be refilled easily and therefore they may have to wait.
The best thing to do when disciplining any child is to try all methods for a few days or a week to find the one that suits and works best for your child, as all children/toddlers and babies are different, and do not come with a manual as much as all parents wished they did!
If you find that things are not working, and it is starting to become to much, then do not be afraid to contact your local Children's Centre. There are various ways in which you can get in touch. Ask at your local preschool/school or have a look on the internet. They are friendly and very helpful. Usually they will carry out a home visit to assess the child in their own surroundings before they take things any further. Sometimes it is not always the child that needs the help, sometimes it may be the parent needing help in learning how to deal with certain situations. Again the your local Children's Centre will be able to advise on these matters too.