Discipline: Is it what I say or how I say it? – Part 1
Posted on: November 17, 2017. Comments ( 2 )

Author: Mrs. Radhika Mohan, Educational Consultant

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I think the most common word we use to stop our kids from doing what they are bent on doing is the word ‘NO’. Telling our kids ‘NO’ is one of the easiest ways of stopping them from exhibiting unacceptable behavior at inappropriate times. But, don’t we all know that it isn’t always the most effective way of disciplining our kid?

How many of us have also realized that there are better ways f denying, deterring and disciplining our children than the simple utterance of the word ‘NO’. Many a time this realization comes in the wake of feeling an obvious exhaustion for both parent and child by chanting the same discipline mantra ‘NO’.

Again what happens when a child is exposed to listening to too many ‘NO’s in a day? Some parenting gurus believe that this kind of dealing can breed resentment in the child or plant seeds for future rebellion.

Audrey Ricker, psychologist, says, “Using ‘NO’ too often can desensitize the child to its meaning, so save the word for life threatening situations, instead. Use short, clear, and concise phrases to explain why a toddler shouldn’t do something.” There are ways to discipline our kids without saying the word ‘NO’ too frequently. “I know you love ice creams, but eating too much is not good.” David Walsh suggests that parents deny certain junk food requests like ice creams and candy, by offering a healthier alternative like yoghurt.

Kids cannot wait for promises like ‘maybe tomorrow’. They may not be able to appreciate the concept of time in forward, and so are unable to make sense of when exactly in the future they get the ice-cream. Most kids want what they want just instantly. They don’t make space enough for delayed gratification. It is just their nature, an innate behavior. Parents need to understand this and practice/mould their own approach – be calmer, firmer, and warmer – and thus offer a healthy snack alternative although they protest. This way the child still gets a treat but in the form of a healthier food option.

Sometimes food becomes a toy in the hands of a kid. They don’t realize that food is for eating, not for flinging about the place. Usually, kids play with food when their stomach is still full from a previous meal. We really lose cool when food becomes a mess all over the house. We tend to yell, especially maybe when a bowlful of delicious noodles (with vegetables painstakingly cut) is flung across the floor. What should I do instead? Just take the bowl away when you guess what’s going to come up next, and explain the reason why he shouldn’t throw food around.

A calm, explanatory approach can do positive outcomes while disciplining a child. Let’s, for instance, take a child who’s bouncing on the bed, well past bedtime, simply by saying, “Beds are for sleeping, and relaxing not for jumping.” But also encouraging, appreciative words can do wonders when we catch them doing good things red-handed.

Acknowledging good behavior can motivate anybody, even a child. “Don’t knock down your brother’s Lego Tower. Let me show you how to play with it.” Young kids don’t feel jealous. It’s just they’re very curious. If the little one is trying to topple his big brother’s tower, he’s sheer curious and simply thinks it is fun to just knock it down. Kids hate to be told what to do—and some retaliate more than others…

…continued in the next part

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Comments (2)


    Nitish Mahapatra says:

    nice information

    B. Basavanna says:

    Hi… I am Sangeetha’s father… I am speaking with you because she is good at math and I think she have to learn still more….So I am asking you….

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