Positive discipline helps a child develop a conscience guided by his own internal discipline and compassion for others. Discipline that is empathetic, loving, and respectful strengthens the connection between parent and child. Rather than reacting to behavior, discover the needs leading to the behavior. Communicate and craft solutions together while keeping everyone's dignity intact.
by Elizabeth Pantley, author of Kid Cooperation and Perfect Parenting
Toddlers and preschoolers require finesse to gain their cooperation, because they have not yet reached the age at which they can see and understand the whole picture, so simply explaining what you want doesn’t always work.Robert Scotellaro is quoted in The Funny Side of Parenthood as saying, “Reasoning with a two-year-old is about as productive as changing seats on the Titanic.” (He must have had a two-year-old at the time).
You can get around this frustrating state of affairs by changing your approach. Let’s look at two situations – first the typical (Titanic) way:
Parent: David! Time to change your diaper.
David: No! (As he runs off)
Parent: Come on honey. It’s time to leave, I need to change you.
David: (Giggles and hides behind sofa)
Parent: David, this isn’t funny. It’s getting late. Come here.
Many parents wonder when and how to start discipline for their babies. But what should a parent do if a 6-month old baby refuses toys and wants to be constantly held? What to do if a 9-month old child makes a b-line for a CD-rack to play with the treasured music collection? What if a 10-month old baby flings food from the high chair? The key is to respond with appropriate discipline.
Discipline can mean many things, but in this context, it means instruction or teaching (Latin noun disciplina: knowledge or instruction). Discipline can be loving, kind and firm, keeping intact the dignity and respect of both parent and child, and should not be confused with hurt or punishment.
Teaching a baby starts at birth. A parent who picks up a crying baby is teaching the baby that its distress matters to the parent, and that the baby can trust that the caring parent will be there to comfort it and make the world right. A parent who...
When It All Falls Apart: Toddlers, Tantrums and Turmoil
by Lauren Porter
The pasta for dinner isn’t right. Or the puzzle piece won’t fit into its outline. Big sister won’t share her new pen. Or you need to make an important phone call. Suddenly, your calm little child begins to spin out of control. Call it what you will – tantrum, outburst, melt down, or fit – it is a scene familiar to almost every parent. You may feel embarrassed, angry, frustrated or confused, but no matter what you’re feeling, you’re not alone. Tantrums are a common occurrence for children between 18 months and 4 years old. They are noted among the most common behavioral problems reported by parents. In fact, recent research indicates that 90% of parents say that their 3-year-old has had a tantrum in the last month!
Let us not look back in anger, nor forward in fear, but around in awareness. ~James Thurber, writer
Tantrums tend to occur when a child is hungry, tired or already upset...
A few days ago my four-year-old son asked me if he could do a craft project—I was in the middle of tidying the house and with visions of glue, construction paper and mess going through my head, I said “No, honey…not right now.” He very quickly responded with: “Awww…you always say no! Everyday you say no!” And with that, he stormed off.
It’s important to say yes to a child whenever possible… Teach children ever-increasing possibilities, not ever-decreasing ones. —MARIANNE WILLIAMSON Okay, so I don’t really say “no” to everything! But my son’s reaction did remind me that it must be really disheartening for kids to hear the constant barrage of no’s and directives from parents—don’t touch that; sit down; drink your milk; do up your coat; use your manners; no…you can’t do that; ask for help; no…not right now. As my daughter would say: “Blah, blah, blah!” Can you imagine what it would be like to live with someone like...