by: Lawrence Shapiro phd
Protecting children from stress may be one of the worst things we can do. Learning to cope with life’s difficulties causes children to develop new neural pathways, which can make them more adaptable and resourceful.
Reward youngsters efforts rather than just their achievements from the time that they first enter school, they are more likely to have good study habits and other work related skills. Effort can compensate for ability.
Simple ways to discipline:
– Make clear rules and limits and stick to them. Write them down and post them if u can.
– Give warnings or cues when your child is beginning to misbehave. This is the best way to teach him self-control.
– Shape positive behavior by reinforcing good behavior with praise or affection and ignoring behavior that is designed to simply get your attention.
– Educate your child as to your expectations. Spend time talking to them about values, rules, and why these are important.
– Prevent problems before they occur.
– When a clearly stated rule or limit is broken, intentionally follow up immediately with an appropriate punishment. Be consistent and do exactly what u said u would do.
– Let the punishment fit the crime.
– Range of discipline techniques: Reprimands, Natural consequences (late for bus then walk), TIME OUT: placing child in neutral non stimulating corner for a short time then discussing why they were placed there to begin with and how to prevent it from happening again. TAKING AWAY A PRIVILEGE: for children who outgrown time-out corner (tv time, video games, phone, curfew. OVER-CORRECTION: technique for quick behavior change: if misbehaves, he must repeat the correct behavior at least 10 times for up to 20 min. if he threw jacket down ignored to greet u, make him go back outside and reenter appropriately 10 times, each time giving u a cordial greeting, putting away books/jacket. BEHAVIORAL POINT SYSTEM: Earn money for positive behavior and subtract for bad behavior.
How do u want your children to learn about the world, by watching or by doing? Television may be the single greatest deterrent to developing social & emotional skills. Limit time to 2 hours a day max, including video game time.
DO u make ur child keep trying even when he complains that somethig is too hard or even when he fails? Yes, one of the most important ingredients in becoming a high achiever is the ability to overcome frustration and give persistent effort in the face of failure.
Strongly encourage ur child to talk about their feelings. Talking about problems and giving words to feelings may change the way a childs brain develops, forming links between the emotional and the thinking parts of the brain.
Chores and other responsibilities should increase with age and should not be contingent on rewards, not even on an allowance. Children should be expected to help around the house because helping others is the right thing to do. Getting an allowance and learning how to handle money is an entirely separate matter.
If u want ur child to be thoughtful, considerate and responsible: raise the bar on your expectations. Make them more responsible and less dependant on u to do things for them.
The simplest and most effective ways to teach children empathy is to practice “random acts of kindness”.
Involve your child in community service; work at soup kitchen, organization volunteer, neighborhood clean-up projects, reading to elderly in nursing home, tutoring youg children, making/donating toys/books/paintings/clothes to sick children.
Read stories that stress honesty, bennets book of virtues, list of best of the best books for children from American library association or KIDSNET.
Building trust activities:
Leading the blind: age 7 & up: Blind fold him and lead him around the room avoiding obstacles. The reverse roles. Like any skill building activity, it is important to discuss the skills of trust and interdependence before and after the actual activity.
Backwards fall: age 5 & up: Stand behind your child and instruct him to just fall backward. Catch him under his armpits. The reverse roles. If child is too small to catch u, let them watch parents demonstrate it.
You can make honesty and ethics a topic of conversation from very early on by choosing books and videos to share with ur child, playing trust-building games, and understanding your childs changing needs for privacy.
Making ur child feel ashamed of his or her antisocial behavior is a legitimate way to change this behavior. The “negative” moral emotions of shame and guilt can be used constructively to shape ur childs moral behavior. Ask child what they think their punishment should be and then enforce it. Many studies show that interpersonal guilt, what we might truly call the “conscience” is more effective at controlling children’s behaviors than any external threat or fear.
– Have consistent ules and consistent punishments whne they are broken. Make sure punishments are fair, immediate, and effective.
– When children over the age 10 break important rules and seem undeterred by ur punishments, ask them to list their own punishment fro each rule. Then agree that a mediator (family friend/aunt/uncle) to determine which punishments will work best. This will stimulate ur child to have higher expectations fot themselves and make them more likely to live up to those expectations.
– React more harsly when ur child does something that hurts someone else. If their irresponsible actions hurt omeone else, express ur own strong feelings along with an appropriate punishment. If this upsets ur child, dont be quick to comfort him. Feeling guilt will prevent him from being thoughtless the next time.
– Make a big deal about apologies. Written apologies should be combined with oral ones. If childs apology is insincere, keep increasing the requirements of the apology until he responds emotionally.
if disrespectful, make child write down one sentence “i will show respect to my father and mother. The second time 2 times, 3rd time 3 times and on and on in a legible writing. Standing behind him while he writes.