One time when I took a bus home, the front row was seated with a pair of little brothers who might only be first and second grade students, and their mother. There is the walkway between the mother and the two children. The two little boys had a lot of fun, and their mother wanted to stop them from playing and making noise, so she gave them a verbal warning. The children did behave themselves, but after a while they began to continue playing. Then the mother slapped the younger son on the arm out of blue. Because the younger brother was wearing a thick down jacket, when he was beaten, the slap itself sounded very loud. The two little boys immediately sat obediently and did nothing, and the beaten son looked very aggrieved and seemed to feel a little embarrassed.
When I was a child, my mother would also use this kind of strategy to teach me and my brother a lesson. I also grew up like this, and many of my friends who are about my age also grew up like this. Even my friends in their twenties, many people agree with the principle that “kids who don’t behave well should be punished.” But the funny thing is that they are not majoring in education or psychology and counseling. XD
Last time we discussed how to reward children so that they cannot forget their original intentions, tips for not making them try hard for the rewards and give up when there is no rewards. This time let us talk about proper ways to discipline kids, instead of using physical violence. In the following, we will start with the easy-to-operate method for parents and continue to introduce more complicated methods.
(1.) Use your words: This method is the simplest and most familiar to everyone, but many times parents will do this in a non-specific manner, just saying “you’re such a bad kid!” but they don’t say what is the reason why they are bad kids, or thinking that the child can read minds and scold the child in a roundabout way, but the child doesn’t understand whether you want him to stop doing one particular thing or do a certain thing. Sometimes, the purpose of this method will turn into expressing the anger, it turns out to be holding the kids to be responsible for their emotions, causing emotional blackmail instead.
The correct way is to specifically tell him/her which behavior the child does is wrong and how it should be improved as soon as he/she does the unwanted behaviors. And remember to be consistent and strict. Whenever the child is making the same mistake you should remind him/her, it’s a big no-no if you sometimes tolerate the unwanted behaviors he/she does.
(2.) Time out: Let the child temporarily leave the environment where he can have fun(the place provided with many stimulations and entertainment to the kid), or pause the activity that makes him/her feel happy. It can be done in a place where there are no toys and any stuff that’s entertaining (like tv) at home, and you just ask the child to sit for a few minutes quietly. And confiscating toys is also one of the means of time out.
You must clearly point out what the child did is the reason why he/she needs a timeout. You can set the time to 3 minutes. And when the child resists or doesn’t want to cooperate with you, you need to tell him/her if he/she keeps refusing to comply, the timeout will take longer. And you must execute it firmly.
(3.) Restitutional overcorrection: When a child leaves trash everywhere in the house and does not throw it away in the trash can, you ask him/her to clean up all the litter and other trash in the home. This is the so-called restitutional overcorrection. It means that the child should correct the things that were not done well, and then complete other tasks related to this matter, to learn to use better behaviors to replace the original unwanted behavior. This way you can let your child know that he/she is responsible for the actions and that he/she will have to pay the price for doing something wrong. Like I’ve seen a meme before, it’s a cat that tore off all the toilet paper rolls in its house, and the owner grabbed its two feet, gathered the scattered toilet paper together, and tidied the bathroom by the way. The concept is quite similar.
These methods have their own advantages and disadvantages. For example, the advantage of using the words is that it is efficient, but it may have counterproductive effects in certain situations, such as making kids feel happy that they have attracted the attention of some adults; Restitutional overcorrection is time-consuming, you have to wait for your child to restore the messed up thing and other stuffs; timeout is not a punishment for some children who can get immersed in the world of daydreaming. The conclusion is that each method is just a strategy, a tool, and each child is an independent individual, and you also have your own unique philosophy of parenting and understanding of your child. You can think more and see if the way you usually deal with your children’s unwanted is effective, and whether you need to make some changes.