Effective Discipline Strategies for Small Children
Parenting is an incredible journey or as some say, a wonderful adventure! But, Do you think this particular journey or adventure is easy? Absolutely not! We all want to raise well-behaved children, but cracking discipline for small children (especially) can be daunting and you know why.
Discipline for small children is important as it shapes their behaviour and develops healthy habits from an early age. We all understand the joys and difficulties of raising children and that’s why here are some of the best smart strategies on how to discipline small children can be aced. So, read on about some awesome tips on gently disciplining your little one
Why is the concept of discipline for small children important in the first place?
Child discipline is a topic that frequently comes up in parenting discussions. It is often confused with punishment. It is critical to remember that discipline for small children does not imply punishment. Child discipline entails teaching your child proper behaviour and ensuring that they understand the consequences of their actions.
Smart Discipline Strategies
Smart discipline strategies that work:
Discipline is an important aspect of parenting, but the approach should be tailored to each child’s age and developmental stage. Small children, for example, necessitate a different approach to discipline than older children. While finding the right balance can be difficult, using smart discipline strategies can help you instil good values and behaviours in your child at a young age.
Show and tell: Probably one of the oldest and most trusted parenting techniques! When you behave a certain way, remember your child is observing you and learning that. So behave the way you want your child to model.
Focus on positive reinforcement: Praise, a pat on the back, a clap or a small reward – that’s all it takes to reinforce the positive behaviour. This makes them face the situation and it also boosts their self-esteem and confidence. It also encourages them to repeat good behaviour and learn from their successes in the future.
Hear them out: Listening is essential when it comes to raising a child. Allow your child to finish the story before assisting with the problem-solving. Look for patterns in misbehaviour, such as when your child is jealous.
Be consistent with rules and consequences: Setting clear and consistent rules for your child is one of the most important aspects of parenting. Rules help your child. It gives them clarity on what is expected of them and how to act appropriately in various situations. However, rules alone are insufficient. See, it is important that your child understands the positive and negative consequences of breaking the rules that you have set for them. Consequences teach your child that their actions have an impact on them and others and that they are accountable for their decisions. You can help your child develop good behaviour early on and avoid future problems by explaining the reasons for the rules and the consequences.
Understand when not to respond: Selective ignoring is one strategy that parents can use to manage their child’s behaviour. This means that parents do not respond to their child’s inappropriate or unwanted behaviour as long as it is not dangerous and the child receives sufficient positive attention for appropriate behaviour. Selective ignoring can assist the child in learning the natural consequences of their actions. For example, if the child drops her chocolate on the floor on purpose, she will have no more chocolate to eat. The child will realize that her bad behaviour has negative consequences as a result of these experiences, and she will be more likely to stop it.
Give them attention: For children who crave their parents’ approval and affection, attention is a powerful motivator. Parents can reinforce and encourage desirable behaviours by giving positive attention to them, such as praise, hugs, or smiles. Parents can discourage and reduce undesirable behaviours by withdrawing attention from them, such as ignoring, turning away, or walking out of the room. Do note that all children want their parents’ attention!
Set Limits: Rules teach children what is expected of them and how to behave properly. However, rules must be explained in a manner appropriate to your children’s age and developmental level. You can help your children develop self-control, responsibility, and respect by establishing clear and consistent age-appropriate rules.
Never resort to harsh child punishments: Teaching your child the skills they need to make better choices is an effective way to discipline them. Your kids must have broken something or the other at home. Isn’t it? The next time they do something like that, do not scold or shout at them. Maybe, try fixing it? This act will certainly help them understand the consequences of their actions. Not just that, but it will also get them to accept responsibility for their mistake(s). Being harsh or child punishments can never really discipline kids.
Be prepared for trouble: Preparing for situations that may trigger challenging behaviours in your child is one of the most effective ways to prevent them. For example, if you know your child gets antsy or bored during long car rides, you can prepare some games, snacks, or music to keep them occupied. You can also praise your child for good behaviour and remind them of the rewards or consequences of their actions. You can help your child cope better with different situations and reduce the chances of misbehaviour by planning ahead and preparing them for upcoming activities.
Time-out: A time-out is one of the many effective parenting techniques for children who break specific rules. It entails warning them of the consequences, explaining the reason for the time-out in a calm and concise manner, and isolating them from the situation for an appropriate period of time. A self-directed time-out can help children aged 3 and up, as well as older children and teens, develop self-management skills. In this case, simply tell them to take a time out and return when they are ready and in control.
We have the tough task of raising and guiding our children to become responsible and respectful adults. Discipline for small children should be carried out with a lot of care, understanding, empathy and compassion. That’s why it’s very important for you to also choose a preschool that does discipline mindfully. Preschools like EuroKids have trained staff who know how to do this exactly. So, do consider visiting a centre to know more about discipline. It might be an eye-opener!