1: Praise & Rewards
Children thrive when they know they are pleasing you, they want you to be happy. Ensure you praise them, that way they learn that what they were doing was right. The more you install this method into behaviour, the sooner you will see a huge improvement. Rewards are a great way of showing your child how well they have done. A sticker reward chart can work wonders for younger children, a treat when so many stars have been awarded is a great incentive.
2: Don’t Back Down
If you install a new rule or insist on your child doing something, stick to it. Giving in for a bit of piece and quiet is not teaching your child anything other than in future when they don’t get what they want, to just throw a temper tantrum and they will win. Stay firm and follow through.
Children thrive with routine, they are easier to manage and less resistant when they are aware of what is happening. Bed time can become much easier for example if a regular bedroom routine is installed. Like wise during the day, if they know what happens in each order they soon begin to recognise and know what to expect. If it is breakfast, then getting dressed, going to nursery, having lunch, mummy comes to get me , go home, play toys, go for a walk, sit and play alone while mummy cooks tea, bath time, story time and then sleep. Whatever you do with your day, try to make it a routine, time breakfast, lunch, tea & super. Stick to a routine and your child will soon follow this happily.
4: Set Boundaries
Be realistic when you set boundaries, make sure they are easy to understand and remind your child regularly what they are. If your child can not understand them, how can they follow them? Decide what you feel is acceptable behaviour and whats not.
If you have a clear idea of what you feel is fair discipline, then this will make it much easier to dish out. Discipline is not cruel, you are not being mean. Discipline is a healthy to a child, it teaches your child that there are consequences to actions. If they are not made aware of bad behavour, how can they possibly know right from wrong? Be firm, fair but always remain in control.
6: Giving Out Warnings
Nobody is perfect, so don’t expect your child to be. They will push the boundaries, all kids do. I think to automatically in force discipline without a warning is unfair. We all forget at times, we all get fed up and we all push our luck from time to time. The same goes for kids, let them know they are crossing the boundaries and remind them what that boundary is. We do not hit, we do not throw, we do not throw our food across the room, we dop not draw on the cream carpet with bright red paint. Allow them the chance to stop, to understand what they have been doing is unacceptable before you bring out the naughty step.
7: Explain Yourself
There is no point with boundaries and discipline if your child has no idea what your talking about. Why can they not draw you a pretty picture on the living room wall? Why can they not jump off the sofa,why do they have to hold your hand, why can they not put a toy car inside the xBox? Explain why in simple terms. If they don’t know why they can’t do something, then how can they know it is wrong?
8: Remain The Adult
If your child shouts, resist the temptation to shout back. If they lash out and hit you, never hit back. If you find yourself geting angry then take a step back. Only react when you are calm and in full control.
Let your child have some responsibility, stop doing everything for them They need self belief, they need to feel that huge pride when they achieved something themselves. Allow them to be involved in family decisions where they can be. Give them jobs that they can do, allow them to be responsible for certain tasks, setting the table, fetching the post etc.
Parenting has its moments, but it is so rewarding. Find time for your child, your partner and yourself. Stressing over every single thing is no good for anyone, least of all you. The dishes can wait while you sit and a read a story with your child. The ironing can wait while you go for a bath and put on your face mask. Stop trying to be Supermum and just be the best you can be.