Thursday, November 2, 2017

Discipline is Extremely Important For Children

Scarlett is a good girl for the most part on a daily basis.  She is eager to please and really tries to do the right thing in life.  However, she is almost 3 which comes with typical toddler antics.  Scarlett's behavior has been changing lately and she does a lot of things for attention.  You'll find her climbing on the table and looking at you with a smile to see how you react, or having a meltdown when denied something she wants.

Parenting is not easy by any stretch of the imagination.  I'm tested on a daily basis and it's up to me to stay firm and not let my child walk all over me.  Nobody enjoys a crying and screaming child and I know some will be quick to give into their child's demands to stop the tears.  They will tell them they can only have one cookie, but then the child screams that they want another one.  Instead of saying no you can only have one, they give into the tantrum.  Honestly, this is the worst thing you can do and it teaches the child that when they cry they get their way.  This isn't helpful for the child or the parent.

I've been watching a lot of old clips on YouTube lately of Jo Frost's old show Super Nanny. If you're not familiar with Jo, she has a nanny career that spans close to three decades and is a parenting expert.  She's written many books and is incredibly smart when it comes to the A-Z's of parenting.  I remember watching the show when it was on the air on ABC years ago, way before I had a child.  

The premise of the show is that she comes to help families who have major problems with their children whether it's lack of discipline and out of control kids, children who can't sleep alone, etc.  A lot of the families practice very poor parenting skills and Jo comes to help them fix their issues.  Although I am not as bad as some of the families on there, I do see Scarlett in some of the children.  I've been watching for guidance and to see ways I can improve Scarlett's behavior before it gets out of hand.

Jo's technique is to give a child a warning when they are misbehaving to let them know that their behavior is not acceptable.  Eye contact is extremely important as is getting down to their level and keeping your voice firm.  You tell them that this is your warning, if they do whatever wrong thing again, they go into time out. Time out is one minute for however old they are.  Jo suggests a "naughty step" or "naughty bench" for implementing their time.  

You tell the child the reason they are in time out and you walk away. If the child gets up, you place them right back with zero communication.  No communication is the key because it shows the child that you're serious.  Once time is up, you explain to the child again why they went into time out and why that behavior is not acceptable.  You ask them for an apology. If they cannot give one, they go straight back into time out.  Once the apology has been stated, a hug and a kiss finishes it off. 

I've been using a lot of Jo's techniques on a day-to-day basis and they are working well for us.  Scarlett does not like to go in time out and I feel that a warning helps her to straighten up before she gets sent to it.  If she still tests me and has to do her time, I notice her behavior is instantly better when she's finished. Life is a lot easier with a toddler who listens rather than who is defiant. 

It's never too late to start disciplining your child(ren) if you haven't been stepping it up in that department.  Children need discipline and boundaries and to know that their parent is in control, not them.  Discipline makes for happy and healthier children and parents.

You'll feel better knowing you're doing everything you can to be the best parent possible.

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