Struggling to discipline your little one? Here is what you might be doing wrong and how to make it better. Compiled by Lijeng Ranooe
When it comes to dealing with bad behaviour, your approach can often backfire. Learn from these discipline mistakes to reap rewards with your child.
1. Being negative
If you are constantly telling your child what they should not be doing, they become immune to the word ‘no’.
Fix: Ask for the behaviour you want to see. Tell him what he should be doing and offer him encouraging words when he does it.
2. Setting high expectations
Feeling frustrated your child won’t behave in a certain way in public places? Children aren’t perfect and sometimes they still have to learn what is acceptable.
Fix: Don’t shout at him, but rather teach him how he should behave. Be a role model for your child to mimic and remind him of how to act in a social situation.
3. Modelling the wrong behaviour
You react to certain situations in a manner that isn’t ideal. If you yell and scream, your child will too.
Fix: Be the example. Children are like sponges – they absorb everything. If you react inappropriately, correct yourself and explain to your child why it is wrong.
4. Not following through with action
You make empty threats to bad behaviour; therefore there aren’t any consequences when your child oversteps the line.
Fix: Be serious about the boundaries between good and bad behaviour. Follow through any promise of consequences without negotiation or nagging. Make it clear that there is no option for your child but to cooperate.
5. Using time-out ineffectively
You use time out as a form of punishment without any explanation of why your child was wrong.
Fix: Time out is meant to calm children, and not to highlight that they did something wrong. Explain to your child that he needs to calm down until he can be well behaved and why his behaviour was inappropriate.
6. Using the same discipline technique for all of your children
No child is the same, so using the same measures for all of your kids often won’t work.
Fix: Get acquainted with what will work for each child in different situations. Learn about various methods and be willing to treat each child differently.
You’re always quick to stop your child from doing something, especially if it doesn’t suit you at that particular moment.
Fix: Let your child be. He needs to explore and learn. If his safety isn’t an issue, give him space to be a kid. Give yourself a break a too.
Our experienced editors work with trained journalists and qualified experts to compile accurate, insightful and helpful information about pregnancy, birth, early childhood development and parenting. Our content is reviewed regularly by our panel of advisors, which include medical doctors and healthcare professionals. Meet the Living & Loving Team and our Online Experts.