6 Secrets of Highly Effective Disipline

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Effective Discipline

Transcript of 6 Secrets of Highly Effective Disipline

#1: Effective Discipline Is Not about Punishment

Discipline comes from the Latin word "disciplinare," which means, "to teach." Disciplinethat actually worksisneverabout punishment.Discipline is simply a way toguideandmanagea child's behavior.Discipline is based on the quality of a child's relationship with the care provider(a teacher in the classroom, and mom and dad at home). When a child receives consistent response from a caring adult, trust, deep attachment and a sense of being wanted develops. This forms the foundation of good behavior and effective discipline.The key is to ensure that these relationships are respectful, responsive and reciprocal.As a teacher, I understood that establishing a daily routine and frequent communication was vital to developing respectful and meaningful relationships, which directly affect behavior and a child's ability to learn.For instance, as children arrive into my classroom, I always make sure to greet them at the door, just as they greet me. I'm never "busy" planning curriculum, checking attendance or talking, texting or tinkering with my phone at drop off and pick up times. To take no notice of a child left in my care would send a message saying "you're not worth my time," which begins a cycle of mistrust.At home, I put beingrespectful, responsive and reciprocalinto practice bysetting my alarm clock 30 minutesbefore my daughterneedsto start getting ready for school. Not so I can begin my day with peace and quiet, but so I can wake her gently.1

How to Establish a Morning Routine for Kids That Actually WorksGetting an entire family up, dressed, fed, and out the door before the sun even comes up couldRead moreFirst I turn on the light and call out her name and announce it is time tostartthinking about getting up. After two or three minutes, I go to her room again, pull the covers and hair away from her face and tell her "it's time to start getting up." She'll usually mutter along the lines of "I am trying" with her arms wrapped around my waist and her head buried in my stomach. I give her a big squeeze and a smooch on top of her head and tell her "go to the bathroom."In a few minutes I go into the bathroom to find her mostly asleep on the toilet, with her elbows on her knees and her head in her hands. I call out to her again "wake up and brush your teeth" and she rises from her throne before I head downstairs to make her lunch.I can hear the resounding "ain't nobody got time for that!" echoing in my head, but how would you react if your partner came running into your room quarter past seven, hollering for you to get up, tearing the blankets off of you, pulling you out of bed and shoving you into the bathroom? I know in my house there would definitely be a fight.2My daughter isn't trying to be difficult. Nor is she spoiled and she certainly doesn't stay up late. She just needs some time in the mornings before she is ready to take on the day.When I adjust my expectations of her behavior instead of punishing her, things go more smoothly.#2: Give Specific Positive Reinforcement

You've probably heard it before, and you'll hear it again: positive reinforcement is key. It can come in many flavors: smiling, sharing a high five and givingeffectivepraise.But you shouldn't just spout insincere praise without thought. In the classroom, I've noticed thateffective praiseisselective, specific, encouraging and positive. It avoids comparisons and competition. It compares a child's progress with his/her past performance rather than with other children and it's delivered in a caring, natural tone of voice. Believe me, children know when you're just blowing smoke.I try toavoid using blanket phrases like "good job,"or "good girl/boy" and be specific about the action or observed good behavior.The most effective of all techniques though is tocatch children being goodor in an act of kindness. The reward and acknowledgement will be more genuine than if your child runs up to you and exclaims he cleaned his room or shared his cookie with his baby sister.When an older child tied the shoes of a younger child in my class, I was all over it. I told him what he did was caring and kind. Then I drew attention to the facial expression of the girl he helped; she was smiling. When I asked her how she felt she replied, "good."At home this translates to making sure we stay away from comparison between siblings,calling names or using labels, and copping out using standby phrases like "good job".Positive reinforcement can also be tangible, if you give small rewards like stickers or prizes but perhaps best used sparingly,and for a short amount of time.#3: Model the Right Behavior

In addition to offering positive reinforcement, modeling appropriate behavior is equally important. Be mindful ofwhat you say and how you say itnot just when you are talking to your child, but when dealing with others as well.

How to Stay Calm and Not Yell at Your Kids (Even If You're Really Mad)Ever tried to control your reaction when you were really, really mad? Having good intentions is one Read moreModeling provides visual clues to what acceptable behavior is and indirectly reinforces the appropriate way to act.As an example, consider what happens in your car when you have a frustrating encounter. Suppose you're driving down the highway when suddenly you notice the car behind you is barely inches from your bumper, and then the driver begins flashing their high beams and leaning on the horn.Most people would let loose a slew of obscenities, jam on the brake and maybe throw up a "friendly" hand gesture, but suppose you instead slowdown in an attempt to get the aggressive driver pass you or you change lanes and let the hurried driver pass.3The first scenario can be confusing to your child if you're always reminding them to "use nice words" and showing joy when you catch them using nice words. What is being demonstrated is the oppositea lack of self-controlwhich conveys that you don't have to use nice words when you're angry. The second scenario demonstrates proper problem solving skills by remaining calm and not endangering others on the road, despite being angry.One of my worst habits when working with toddlers was sitting on tables and other furniture (because the toddler furniture was appropriately toddler-sized). I wasn't aware I was doing it until I found myself in a full blown conversation with a tot sitting beside meon a shelf. And even though climbing is important to motor development at this stage, climbingfurnitureisn't something that I wanted toencouragemy kids to do (especially if I'm not there to provide the necessary supervision!) I had accidentally demonstrated to them that it was okay by doing it myself.#4: Provide Direct Guidance and Explain Your Reasoning4

When you guide your kids, always be direct. Give reasons and explanations for rules (keep itsimplefor young children).And always, make sure your directions and requests statewhat to do,as opposed to what not to do.For instance, in my classroom, I focus on reminding children to "walk their feet" and explain how walking keeps them from getting hurt, instead of saying "don't run." It can help to drive the notion home if you retell a story of when your child was running and got hurt.I even speak to my teenager in a similar way. I might say, for example, "It's late and you have practice in the morning. You should get to bed in 15 minutes so you won't be too tired. Last weekend you were late because you overslept." Sometimes he does go up on his own, and sometimes 15 minutes pass and I need to jog his memory again. But he hardly ever gives me a hard time if I provide a relevant past example.#5: Prevent Bad Behavior Before It Happens and Seek Out Support

This kind of "discipline" in my opinion is what will preserve your sanity. Why would I tell my baby to stay off the stairs a million times a day when I can install a safety gate? Or make extra work for myself lifting children to the sink every time they need to wash their hands, whereas placing a stool at the sink will allow them to access the soap, water and paper towels themselves.5Prevention not only is a great form of discipline, but also supports self-help skills and builds self-esteem.An important aspect of prevention is planning. Don't go grocery shopping with your toddler during a time he normally rests. Do not abruptly interrupt play (or other activities) and expect your child to cooperatively and quickly get ready to leave so you can try to be on time for your appointment. Your lack of planning and foresight will only confuse them about their own behavior.Also, be proactive. If there are specific shows or channels you don't want your child watching,set parental codes on your TV. The same can be done on computers and mobile devices.6Being proactive prevents most arguments and negotiating, allowing you to spend more quality time with your child, instead of putting out fires all day long.Here are a few more tips to embrace the prevention attitude: Avoid speaking to your child from across the room or the playgroundit's easy for them to not hear you or ignore you, and that can result in unnecessary issues. Give children as much notice as possible when changing activities, leaving the house, or a change in the schedule. At school, five minutes before I need children to start cleaning up to transition to the next activity, I tell them that "in five minutes we'll start cleaning up so we can do music time." Similarly at home, before heading out to pick up my older kids from school, I tell my younger ones that "in five minutes you need to put away the crayons and we're going to get your sister and brother." Young children are concrete, literal thinkers and the concept of time is way too abstract for them to grasp. Try setting a timer or pointing to where the minute hand on the clock will be at clean-up time. Alternatively ,you can completely avoid time and use a dif