When we talk of disciplining kids, it’s important that we as parents set realistic expectations on where and how much it is really required. The idea is to establish discipline in the life of our kids and therefore ours without inhibiting their natural growth and learning. Parents have to understand the need for boundaries before implementing them.
Here are my 9 Key Disciplining Rules, which parents should keep in mind:
1. Stop Saying ‘No’
It is most important the we reduce the use of ‘No’ in our vocabulary. Anything that is used too often loses value so to make your ‘No’ impactful, save it for the absolutely necessary situations. For all other situations, you can camouflage the ‘No’ in different ways.
2. Positive Vocabulary Can Do The Trick
Use a lot of positive statements in your conversations with kids or anyone for that matter and the understanding is much better. Instead of saying ‘Don’t remove your shoes in the garden’ you can say ‘Can we keep our shoes on until we reach home?’
3. Explanations and Alternatives!
Your child deserves an explanation when being stopped from doing something. A gentle explanation can go a long way. Alternatives work wonders. Many a times you can offer two alternatives, both of which you don’t mind if your child chooses.
4. Be Firm
Don’t get scared of a child’s tantrums or strong reactions and give in. They learn to use this as a tool. If you think a particular action can be harmful for your child, or someone else, put your foot down firmly but not angrily.
Children understand well through stories. To make a point, you can create small stories that will make a place in their mind for life.
6. Unspoken Communication
You can convey a lot through your body language, facial expressions, tone of voice and other forms of unspoken communication. Not everything needs to be spoken out loud.
7. Be A Role Model
Children emulate their parents and learn from their actions. So if they see you screaming at people or talking rudely, rest assured that they will follow suit. It’s important to display the right behavior before expecting it and let me tell you, kids are smart and they cannot be fooled.
Always appreciate your kid’s good actions. This works as a form of reinforcement as kids realize that parents are noticing their good behavior and need not behave badly to gain attention from their parents.
9. Don’t take things too seriously
We tend to forget that we can actually joke about something to put across a point and that works miraculously well with kids. Use humour in your communication with kids.
There are the rules which work well for me but would love suggestions from other parents as well!
Kejal Teckchandani is a mother of a 2 year daughter. She is mommy blogger at Being Momma where she writes for the new Indian Mom helping her through her most exciting but confusing phase of motherhood from pregnancy to toddlerhood. Before her mommy days she worked as an equity research analyst in an investment bank and decided to work from home thereafter. You can visit her FB page and write to her at firstname.lastname@example.org