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Dealing With Childrens Misbehaviour

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    Enforce your own boundaries, not those of the child. For example, if you want quiet after eight o’clock, enforce that quiet. Don’t force your child into bed. My son — he is now five — started going to bed without any problems, after I made clear to him that I won’t bend a finger for him after eight. He had to go to bed without me reading to him and tucking him in a few nights, and now he gets ready when I tell him he has half an hour, if he wants me to read a story to him. Of course he cannot fall asleep immediately every night, because some nights he is not tired, some nights there are things that he needs to think about, and some nights he simply wants to look at another book or play with his cars some more. I allow him all of that, but I suggest to him that he do it in bed and turn off the light when he is finished. So some nights he reads a book and some nights he quietly plays with some toys, but I get my quiet and I don’t have to do anything for him, and he accepts that. I do the same things with all other things that once were a cause for fighting: getting dressed for kindergarten (he once had to go without shoes in the snow, and he was never dressed late after that), eating what he filled on his plate (he does not get anything else to eat before he eats everything on his plate, no matter how long this may take, even if he has to eat the cold lunch for breakfast the next day (yes, I don’t warm it up anymore)) etc. My son, who is extremely strong willed and threw lots of tantrums when he was four, is a nice and easy child today, only because I stopped telling him what to do. The only thing I tell him is what I will do or not do. And he accepts that.


    Children do not need to cry, to be hurt, to be shamed, or to shout “uncle” in order to learn the lesson you are trying to impart. The discipline (from the Latin root word which means learning or teaching) that is needed should be just that — the lesson that teaches not to do that again. It is a lesson that cultivates self-discipline. Remind yourself that this is an opportunity for you teach and for your child to learn. Often children have to do the wrong thing on their way to doing the right thing. And yes, for that there is a consequence.Let the child know that whatever the behavior was, you are stopping it. Remove the child from the scene of the crime. Say as little as possible. “There is no throwing balls in the living room!” using your low, slow, icy voice. Mean business. Remove and isolate your child to a safe place away from you and the scene. No words. The key is to DISENGAGE. Do not give your attention of any kind, negative or positive. Nothing. When you have both come back to planet Earth, even as long as an hour later depending upon the age of the child (the younger the child, the shorter the time), do your revisit. Have a short, direct conversation (and it may be one-sided) about what happened and what will happen as a result. Remember, parenting by imposing fear is neither healthy nor effective. You and your child need to be on the same team. You are both trying to get him to the same place, the place of making thoughtful, good choices for himself. And the very first chance you get, catch him doing the right thing. Praise works better than punishment and a whole lot better than spanking.

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