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The Secrets to Raising a Smarter Child
- By Inderbir Sandhu, Ph.D


Effective Discipline Techniques that Actually Work for Your Children - Part II

By Andrew Loh

There are several ways with which parent can deal with misbehavior in their children. Here are some of them:

Know your children's limitations

You should be aware of what your children are capable of and what they can do. Development milestones for children are different. All children would have their own weaknesses and disadvantages. A session of misbehavior could be genuine for a child because she or he may not know how to follow your instructions. In fact, they may not even understand or comprehend what you say to them.

Misbehavior could be a result of frustration and disappointment

Sometimes, a child might misbehave if she or she is extremely disappointed and frustrated. For example, this usually happens in older children. A low grade in school may be one of the reasons for misbehavior at home. Alternatively, it could also arise because of peer pressure in school. Knowing the exact reason for misbehavior could be very good technique. Under such circumstances, parents may need to encourage their children so that disappointment and frustration go away from their mind.

Stick to your decisions

Once you make up your mind, never deviate from it. Promises should be kept alive while rules ought to be maintained. However, be realistic and truthful to your actions and never be too harsh or rude.

Do not accept failure nor withdraw from your action

Temper tantrum displays are common among children. Your children might throw a fit of anger if she or he does not get what they want. Do not allow temper tantrum to success and avoid this situation by not accepting bad behavior.

Be consistent in your approach

Do not change your ground rules day by day. Stick to a working method and allow it to happen. Frequent changes might confuse children and you may fail to see the results you always wanted.

Respect your children's feelings and personality

Show a hint of respect towards your children's feelings. However, never waver from your actions. For example, your girl child might have been playing with her friend by using her toys. After her friend leaves your home, your child may not pick up her toys and keep them in their original place. Now, you may like to say “I respect your feelings that you are little bit sad now because your friend has gone back to her house. However, it is your duty now to place all those toys back where they belong.” Give her one chance to follow your instructions. If she refuses to obey, just lock all those toys in a cupboard and tell the child that she will not get her toys for playing at least for next two days.

Find out where you went wrong and rectify mistakes immediately

All of us are humans and we commit our mistakes from time to time. If you did not handle a situation well today, do it correctly tomorrow. Try to improvise on your methods on a daily basis. If a mistake is genuine, do not worry unnecessarily about it. If you commit a blunder, make sure that you apologize to your children. This will enhance your stature in front children.

Caution: Spanking or hitting your children could be very bad for their future. Avoid spanking your children. Spanking has its own disadvantages some of which are given below:

  • It might lose its shine after some time and children often get used to it.

  • If parents keep on spanking, they lose the right to be kind and respectful later.

  • In fact, they may never be consistent with their children.

  • Spanking might raise a fit of anger and frustration in children.

  • Repeated spanking may lead to psychological ill-effects.

  • It can lead to physical harm to children.

In a way, spanking can never make your children learn good behavior. Instead, it leads to increased instances of misbehavior and occasional fit of anger that could be destructive at times.

Here are some negative techniques that could be counterproductive and negative:

  • Unnecessary repeating of commands

  • Pleading and begging

  • Ordering in a loud tone

  • Nagging at times

  • Labeling and name calling

  • Excessive arguments

  • Threatening and scolding

  • Being confusing and vague

  • Losing temper and becoming angry

  • Showing disrespect

Here are some techniques that actually work:

  • Consistent in actions and utterances

  • Firm and kind

  • Giving options and choices to children

  • Showing respect and making children feel proud

  • Using useful keywords like “When you complete..... then you may have.....

  • Redirecting misbehavior to productive ones

  • Boosting good behavior with once in a while rewards.

Featured Resource

1-2-3 Magic: Effective Discipline for Children 2-12
By Thomas W. Phelan, Ph.D

This revised edition of the award-winning 1-2-3 Magic program addresses the difficult task of child discipline with humor, keen insight, and proven experience. The technique offers a foolproof method of disciplining children ages two through 12 without arguing, yelling, or spanking.

By means of three easy-to-follow steps, parents learn to manage troublesome behavior, encourage good behavior, and strengthen the parent-child relationship - avoiding the "Talk-Persuade-Argue-Yell-Hit" syndrome which frustrates so many parents. Ten strategies for building a child's self-esteem and the six types of testing and manipulation a parent can expect from the child are discussed, as well as tips on how to prevent homework arguments, make mealtimes more enjoyable, conduct effective family meetings, and encourage children to start doing their household chores.


Featured Resource


Child Development

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