All Discipline begins with the Parent
What? Yes, the more undisciplined I am in my self; the more discipline issues I have with my children
How am I undisciplined? By pushing yourself too hard..
Examples: Not taking Time Out, poor Physical care of self,results in ‘losing it’ with the children, shout, Rant & Rave; getting up too late, frequently rushing and racing, is always late, takes no exercise, drives too fast, need I go on? Yet, our job is to be a good role model for our children, so yes; all discipline does start with you!
Self Care is the No 1 priority for Parents – for their children’s sake!
Many parents do too much and then react to a child’s behaviour from a place of self neglect. Conflict is often due to tiredness and overload. So, take greater care of yourself, say ‘No’ more often and rest when you can. Don’t forget to tell yourself how well you are doing, and how far you have come, encourage yourself. Everything we do to ourselves; reflects in our interaction with our children too.
What is a Positive Parenting?
A parent who parents positively is one who treats themselves well and respects themselves – and others. This parent is moderate in food and alcohol, they find an exercise they enjoy as they recognise the need to de stress, and they allows adequate time so they are not frequently impatient or irritable. This parent tries to be generally consistent and in charge of their behaviour so they role model for the child the way to be.
You cannot take care of anyone; till you first take care of you
Resolve to improve how relate to yourself by the development of a warm, accepting, relationship with yourself; for the sake of your children. The more you accept and approve yourself, the more your will your child – and the need for discipline will reduce correspondingly.
How to Discipline?
Discipline is about the practice of care and respect towards yourself first and then radiates out from you to your children. If my interaction with self is critical; it is mirrored in by interaction with my child being of a critical nature. Once I develop a more accepting way of interacting with myself; I will be more accepting and gentler in my interaction with my child. If you mirror acceptance of my child, I will bring out the best in my child over time. Punishment however is about control of another and not effective; it only lowers self esteem.
What happens when your child challenges you? Resolve through relationship!
- Never break relationship, because of poor behaviour, see it as a cry for help
- Instead of Time out, give a little Time In to the child’s feeling
- Stay calm, and leave the room if you are going to ‘lose it.
- Be real and authentic with your child “Ann, I do not want to get angry with you as I love you; I need you to xx and I will not ask again”
- The more I work on having a positive/loving relationship with my child; the less of a need for discipline there is
- The more I take care of myself and stay in touch with how I feel, the calmer and more in charge of my behaviour I am; and the realisation is that my child’s behaviour is usually a reflection (positive or negative) of how I am behaving – OUCH!
- Separate the child from their behaviour; ’I love you, but can’t accept this behaviour
- Use ‘As soon as’ often: ‘As soon as homework’s done, you can go out & play. Better than ‘No! You can’t play; your homework’s not done!’ Be respectful
- Apply reasonable Consequences (deprive a privilege) in advance, offer a Choice, then say ‘You decide’. The child has a choice, if they choose not to respect my right; they know they invite the consequence of that behaviour.
Example ‘Finish your Homework now, and you can look forward to TV later, or If you choose not to do homework now, you choose to miss your TV later, you decide’ (respectful and teaches them responsibility)
- Consequence needs be logical , therefore:
- If they leave a mess, they need tidy up
- If they break a window they need pay towards it
- Be KIND but Firm (never Cross) with the child when disciplining
- Look at why the child is difficult, a feeling of not being loved enough or low self esteem is usual.
When a child deserves your love the least, they need it the most.Therefore Compassion is the No 1 response to a childs challenging behaviour
I find there is less of a need to discipline when I take time to love unconditionally, spend un distracted time, and see all that my child does on a daily basis- focus on what they do right, rather on what they don’t. Love heals.