Have you ever found yourself at the end of your rope as you ask your five-year-old for the thousandth time to stop teasing their brother/the dog or playing rough inside, questioning how to make a change without bringing on the tears?
At Lifelong Learning Centres we understand parenting is one of the most rewarding experiences, but it isn’t always easy. So, we wanted to share the wisdom which has been shared with us as educators, about how you as a parent can reinforce positive behaviour with your own children.
There are endless philosophies around punishment and reward, the absence of, or the way you as a parent can look after your children. What works for one won’t necessarily work for another, but if we work together, we can help shape and nurture your child to help them develop the positive elements of their personalities. This in turn will enable them to develop successful and lasting relationships with their peers, teachers and other relatives throughout their lives.
Generally speaking we all love a reward and respond to them well. Linking rewards or punishments to desired and undesired behaviours is an age old method to increasing or decreasing the behaviour in question.
Certain rewards will appeal to different personalities, it’s here that you can explore what works and what doesn’t for your child. An introverted child might actually be happy if you ‘ground’ them, whereas a trip to the park or a theme park may be just up the alley of an extroverted child looking for a reward.
Gentle discipline is based on concepts of non-violent communication and stresses the fact that your child is unique, important and deserves respect no matter their age. The main argument for this type of discipline is, if you wouldn’t behave that way towards your husband or wife, why allow it towards your child?
With gentle discipline parents tend to turn to ignoring some behaviours or staging time ins rather than time-outs. This is where you as a parent sit in with your child in a room as they calm down, rather than isolating them. This type of discipline also eradicated negative words such as naughty or bad and replace it with explanations about why the behaviour is frowned upon. Here you might say ‘yelling is rude, that’s why I don’t want you to yell’ when your child is acting out.
Consistency is key
Whichever route you choose it’s important for children to be able to predict outcomes. Your little one will feel safe when they understand what’s expected from them and what the consequences, be it good or bad, will be for their choices.
Just remember, there’s no right and wrong way to discipline or reward your child, but there’s always support for you when you feel you want a little helping hand.