When children are infants, they can be pure joy! However, as children begin to age, they require better parenting skills. Their little personalities and temperaments begin to emerge. Some kids are easy, some are slow-to-warm-up, and some can be spirited, spicy, and difficult! If you have a child that falls into the spirited, spicy, or difficult category, then keep reading. To avoid parenting issues, here are 3 “no-drama” keys to discipline that works!
Remember how children learn
Since children can learn by observation, consider the example of making the bed. Start when he’s really young. Go ahead and model making the bed in front of him. Make it fun, gradually give him more of the responsibility; eventually, he’ll be doing it himself. The same principle holds for learning to say “thank you,” taking turns, remembering his belongings, feeding his pet, doing homework, and every other important lesson in life.
Modeling a task, giving advice, and providing coaching are invaluable supports for children. They are invaluable because they provide “scaffolding,” which is a learning process designed to promote a deeper level of learning. As these supports are gradually removed, children develop autonomous learning strategies.
Instructional scaffolding provides key learning structures, just as scaffolding on a construction site provides structure for a building to take shape and eventually stand on its own. For example, you might be upset that he forgot his jacket again, but yelling won’t help him remember. Instructional scaffolding, however, will help.
Better parenting: Connect before you correct
If you want to avoid parenting issues, It is important to stay connected even while you guide children. Staying connected says, “I’m here for you and you matter to me!” It awakens a child’s natural desire to be his best self. The next time your little one explodes, go ahead and kneel down to her level, find your love and look her in the eye while you say, “You seem mad… please use your words and tell me what you need.”
Pick her up: “I know you want to play longer… but sweetie, it’s time for bed.”
Make loving eye contact: “You seem really upset right now. Is that true?”
Gently put your hand on her shoulder: “Are you scared to tell me about what you just did?”
Set limits with empathy and understanding:
You do need to insist on some rules, but you can also acknowledge his perspective. When kids feel understood, they’re more able to accept your limits. Here are some examples:
“I know you’re really mad and hurt, but No hitting! Use your words with your brother, not your fist.”
“It’s bedtime now. I know you wish you could play longer.”
“You don’t want Mommy to say No because you really want that cookie. I know this is hard to hear, but the answer is still No sweetie.
“It’s okay to feel angry, but we don’t say ‘Shut Up’ to each other, even if we’re upset.”
“No matter how scared you are, I still need you to tell me the truth. Go ahead; I’m on your team.”
A Point to Ponder
To avoid parenting issues, try scaffolding lessons, staying connected, and setting limits with empathy. They are essential elements of a parenting style that is warm, responsive, and firm with your expectations.