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Mistakes To Avoid While Given Discipline To Children



Mistakes To Avoid While Given Discipline To Children

In teaching effective discipline to children, parents often make some mistakes. The mistakes parents and other caretakers make in dealing with young children are; too much talking and too much emotion.

Thinking of kids as little adults and then chattering away during a situation requiring discipline is terrible because excessive explaining makes kids less likely to cooperate by irritating, confusing, and distracting them.

Endless chatter also leads to the Talk-Persuade-Argue-Yell-Hit Syndrome. But why is too much adult emotion destructive during discipline? People today tell you to “let it all hang out” and show your feelings. “Express yourself and don’t keep it all inside” seems to be the universal recommendation of modern psychology.

Is this a good suggestion if you are a parent? Half of it is good advice, and the other half is not. The good half is this: if you are feeling positively toward a child, by all means, let it show. Express your affection or dole out some praise.

The evil half of them let-it-all hang-out advice applies when you are irritated or angry with your children. Cutting loose at these moments can be a problem because we often do the wrong thing when our parents are mad.

Angry adults can yell, scream, belittle, and nag. They can also physically endanger their kids. The 1-2-3 program is as much control over parental anger as it controls children’s behavior.

Why Your Kids Like to Upset You

Another reason why too much emotion can interfere with effective parenting and teaching. When they are little, kids feel inferior to adults. They feel inadequate because they are flawed.

They are smaller, less privileged, less intelligent, less skillful, less responsible, and less of just about everything than their parents and the older kids are. And this “lessness” bugs them a lot. They don’t like it. They want to feel powerful and capable of making some mark on the world. Watch your two-year-olds.

They want to be like those cool five-year-olds who can do many more neat things. The five-year-olds, in turn, want to be like the cool ten-year-olds. Have you ever seen a small child go down to a lake and throw rocks in the water? Children can do that for hours, partly because the big splashes signify their impact.

They are the ones causing all the commotion. “What does this have to do with what happens at my house?” you may ask. Simple. You are all upset if your little child can get big and old. Your upset is a big splash for him. Your emotional outburst has the unintended consequence of making your child feel powerful. His reaction does not mean he has no conscience or will grow up to be a professional criminal.

It’s just a normal childhood feeling. Having all that power temporarily rewards or feels good to the inferior part of the child. Parents who say, “It drives me crazy when she eats her dinner with her fingers! Why does she do that?” may have already answered their question. She may do that, at least partly because it drives Mom and Dad crazy.

Therefore, an important rule is this: If you have a child who is doing something you don’t like, get upset about it regularly and, sure enough, she’ll repeat it for you. When it comes to discipline, you want to be consistent, decisive, and calm.

So we recommend in this book that you apply during moments involving conflict or discipline what we call the “No Talking and No Emotion Rules.” Since we’re all human, these two rules mean very little talking and very little emotion. But these rules are critical to your disciplinary effectiveness.

These two mistakes, of course, usually go hand in hand, and the emotion involved is usually anger. Some parents and teachers can turn off the talking and the emotional upset like a faucet, especially once they see how effective it is to keep quiet at the right time.

Other adults have to bite their lips bloody to get the job done. I saw a T-shirt a while back that said, “Help me—I’m talking, and I can’t stop!” Many moms, dads, and teachers repeatedly remind themselves that talking, arguing, yelling, and screaming don’t help but make things worse. These “tactics” merely blow off steam for a few seconds.

If parents find that they can’t shake these habits after a month to six weeks of using 1-2-3 Magic, it’s time to face facts. An outpatient evaluation and counseling are indicated (for the adult, not the child!).

Remember, we’re talking primarily about negative or angry emotions and talk not positive. Good parents do express warmth and affection for their kids. They do listen sympathetically when the children are upset. Discipline and parent-child conflict situations are where you have to watch yourself.

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