Children are much more likely to learn from positive interactions than negative ones. While some parents may fear that being kind is going to lead to a misbehaving child, in truth, a child will want to listen to parental guidance when they can trust their parents and feel safe. Traditional punishment and “discipline” techniques often focus on making a child feel badly about themselves and their behavior.
While dealing with defiance or lack of cooperation is difficult, children most often misbehave when they are already feeling disconnected, bad, tired or overwhelmed. Making a child feel worse about themselves is not going to help them understand that their behavior is unacceptable or inappropriate. Discipline that makes children feel bad, shame, or scared also doesn’t help them change their behavior.
What does encourage children to follow your guidance and change their behavior?
You child will be more likely to listen and respect you if you are making the time to listen and respect them as well.
Skip time out and other hurtful “discipline” techniques: Children learn right from wrong, not because they were sent to the corner alone, but because they begin to understand expectations and situations, and because they have enough information that will ultimately help them make better decisions.
Some ways to offer guidance that are very respectful are to:
Follow through with kindness
Model using good manners
By respecting your child’s needs for connection, love and acceptance, you create a sense of mutual respect and cooperation. This also means that when your child needs guidance, they will know they can trust you. Next week, don’t miss new posts on how to stop defiance in a positive way.
Peace & Be Well,
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