Monday, May 19, 2008

Positive Discipline

The real menace in dealing with a 5 year old is that
in no time at all you begin to sound like a 5 year old.

- Jean Kerr -

Our son's only 1 1/2 and it's already started.
And we don't want to sound like a 1 1/2 year old!

Things we want to keep in mind:

From The Secret of Happy Children by Steve Biddulph

Children act up because they're bored.
Children act up because they feel unwanted.
Children play up because it gets them noticed.
Children act up because they are overstimulated and need help to calm down.

GOAL: Keep son engaged, make sure to give son lots of TLC, give son attention and make sure not to frustrate him with an activity.

From No Cry Discipline Solution: Gentle Ways To Encourage Good Behaviour without Whining, Tantrums and Tears by Elizabeth Pantley

First: Solve the real problem: Tired? Hungry? Frustrated? Bored? Overstimulated? Scared? Confused?
Be consistent.
Offer a choice.
Sing a song.
Be silly.
Use 5-3-1 Go! (Give fair warning.)
Have an eye-to-eye discussion.
Use positive words. (Avoid no, don't, stop.)
Validate feelings.
Use when/then, now/later, you may/after you.
Discract and redirect (involve).
Use family rules.
Make it brief, make it clear.
Think it, say it, mean it, do it.
Follow daily routines.
Use happy face cards.
Set a timer and allow fussing for 3 minutes.
Be firm - it's ok.
Build a foundation of love, trust and respect.
Avoid letting your child get tired, hungry, bored or frustrated.

GOAL: All the above. And to remember our goal is not to have a happy child every minute of the day, but our goal is to raise a first rate human being.

From How To Talk So Kids Will Listen and How To Listen So Kids Will Talk by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish

Help Children Deal with Their Feelings:
Children Need to Have Their Feelings Accepted and Respected.
1. You can listen quietly and attentively.
2. You can acknowledge their feelings with a word. "Oh... Mmmm... I see..."
3. You can give the feeling a name. "That sounds frustrating."
4. You can give the child his wishes in fantasy. "I wish I could make the banana ripe for you right now!"
All feelings can be accepted. Certain actions must be limited. "I can see how angry you are at your friend. Tell him what you want with words, not fists."

GOAL: Help son name his feelings.

Instead of Punishment:
1. Express your feelings strongly (and state the obvious) - without attacking character. "I'm furious that my new saw was left outside to rust in the rain!"
2. State your expectations. "I expected my tools to be returned after they've been borrowed."
3. Show the child how to make amends. "What this saw needs now is a little steel wool and a lot of elbow grease."
4. Give the child a choice. "You can borrow my tools and return them, or you can give up the privilege of using them. You decide."
5. Take action. Child: "Why is the tool box locked?" Father: "You tell me why."
6. Problem solve. "What can we work out so that you can use my tools when you need them, and so that I'll be sure they're there when I need them?"

GOAL: Use as much of the above with our 1 1/2 year old son.

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