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Using discipline to inculcate good behaviour is an important part of parenting. Parenting is a challenging task, and you, as a parent, need to use a broad range of strategies and methods to help your child imbibe good and alter behaviours. It is also important to mould and be flexible in your ways to shape your child’s behaviour. Therefore, the techniques you use must be in line with contemporary learning and child-care methods.
Gone are the days when parents could use corporal punishments to discipline their children. It is time you accept that you have to spare the rod yet not spoil the child. Children do not have multitasking abilities, nor do they have the maturity to comprehend things and understand the magnitude of their actions. It is important to get down and connect at their level rather than compete for attention. Read on to find out what are the best ways to reverse your child’s behaviour.
10 Effective Tips to Get Children to Behave
Raising well-behaved children has become an arduous task for most parents of today. Parents have busy lifestyles and find it hard to balance their personal and professional commitments. A hectic work culture leaves less time to interact and connect with children. Therefore, the lessons crucial for developing a strong character for a secure future are either left out or not emphasised consistently by parents.
How to get children to behave? Why does my son not behave appropriately around people? How to teach a child to behave in a school? These are a few glaring questions parents dart at child psychologists. Well, it is not rocket science to get kids to behave well, and neither does one need to visit a doctor unless the situation is out of control. The tips below will help you discipline your child to behave in an impeccable fashion at all times. You could also win some brownie points for being a great parent!
1. Acknowledge the Child’s Feelings
It is very important to acknowledge your child’s feelings and not disregard them. For example, if your kid is angry because you took his toy, try not to ignore his feelings and take efforts to calm him down by providing an explanation for your action. The child needs to know the true reason for you doing so. Therefore, telling him that you took the toy because it was time for him to enjoy a meal or because he behaved inappropriately will help you make your point in a better fashion.
2. Reorganise Your Thoughts
Try to understand that your child is not being hard or difficult on purpose. He just doesn’t understand the importance of it all. Therefore, instead of expressing your disappointment upon your child’s inappropriate behaviour, try telling him that you understand he’s having a hard time and offer help. Remember that your child is struggling to express himself, and only you hold the key to help him vent his feelings.
3. Change the Concept of Discipline
The word discipline originates from the Latin word “to teach”. You can ditch punishment for reiterating the importance of good behaviour and use reassuring words and motivational gestures to induce it as well. For example, saying you are proud of your child for behaving well, and being kind and thoughtful when he does something truly heart-touching, will encourage him to continue being on his best behaviour. Also, ensure that you model yourself on the same lines for your little one to follow.
4. Use an Assertive Tone
Never yell, shout or scream when you have to make a point. Using an inappropriate tone with children often leads to them drifting away and being less empathetic towards your concerns. Remember that children imitate their parents to a great extent. Therefore it is important to be assertive and calmly stress upon the core of the matter for your child to understand it.
5. Offer Feedback
Never fail to respond or acknowledge your child’s actions. If your child has been good at tidying up his room, pat his back for doing a good job, or thank him. Saying positive words, such as “Well done!”, “Thank You!” or “What a wonderful display of a sense of responsibility!” will make your child feel good and get a sense of accomplishment, too.
6. Use Motivation
A reward chart works wonders when disciplining your kid. Invest in one and have stickers handy to highlight good behaviour. Sell the idea of behaving well with an incentive that your child will receive on gaining a certain number of points.
7. Give Options
Explain to your child that good behaviour will fetch him rewards and appreciations, while bad behaviour will lead to disappointment among his loved ones, be it his family or friends. Giving options to your child gives him some time to think and decide what he wants. It also encourages him to distinguish between right and wrong and follow that principle always.
8. Send Gentle Warnings
Don’t make any abrupt endings to anything that your kid does. Kids hate it when they are not given a prior warning of what is coming up. For example, if you want them to stop watching TV, then give a “5-minute warning” signal before it is time to switch off. This way, they will be mentally prepared for what they can expect.
9. Teach Gratitude
Kids need to be taught gratitude and its importance, and the best way to that is to set a small routine, either in the morning or at bedtime, to give thanks for everything they have. Once this routine is set, you’ll notice how quickly it reflects in the other aspects of your child’s life, be it at school, at home, or at parties and other social gatherings.
10. Practice Yoga or Meditation
Yoga and meditation exercises have been proven helpful to tackle stress in adults. They have amazing benefits for kids, too, when practised on a regular basis. Engage your child in meditation or yoga asanas to calm his senses daily. By practising yoga and meditation, kids, especially those with special needs, develop a composed mind, and thereby, adopt a calm approach to deal with any situation.
There is no proven technique to inspire good behaviour; the most important thing is to lead by example. Let your child see how you care for people around you, hear the kind words you use, and see you doing your duty irrespective of being told. They will suffice to encourage empathetic behaviour in your child. Build your repertoire of techniques, tools, methods, and language to motivate good behaviour and gain maximum cooperation from your child. Ditch the drama and bring in engaging dialogues and discussions to strike that healthy balance.