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 DISCIPLINE WITH LOVE

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lucky_star
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PostSubject: DISCIPLINE WITH LOVE   Wed 22 Oct - 7:16

Many parents these days feel that they are not allowed to discipline their children. Parents need to feel confident that discipline is an important part of a child's upbringing. Children need discipline. They need it to feel safe and secure while learning to get along with others and to live in society. The best discipline leads to children learning self-discipline. Often there is confusion for parents when "discipline" and "punishment" are talked about. They are frequently used to mean the same thing, when in fact they are quite different.

This topic contains the information from the Parent Easy Guide (PEG http://www.parenting.sa.gov.au/peg_category_title.asp?peg_category_id=9/

WHAT IS DISCIPLINE

Discipline is about teaching and learning. Discipline can be done in many different ways.

As parents we discipline our children when they are able to understand what we want to teach them, so that they will learn how to discipline themselves. We should use less limits as our children are able to make responsible decisions for themselves.

Discipline should not be harsh or unfair. It should be positive and used to encourage good behaviour as well as to stop behaviour that you don't want your child to be doing.

Discipline can be given without the use of physical punishment. Discipline is given with rules followed by consequences.

Discipline, which builds on your child's wish to please you, is more likely to produce a well-behaved, contented child and a less stressed parent.

Discipline is about understanding the rules (of the home, the school and the community) and understanding what happens when the rules are broken. It is about learning to be responsible.

WHAT PARENTS CAN DO

The methods you use need to fit with your child's age, abilities and needs. This may mean you will use different ways for each child within your family and will need to change them as your child grows older. The way you talk to your child can make a difference as to whether or not she will do as she's told. Discipline usually requires careful thought and methods which include:

planning

teaching

explaining

showing

making rules

giving consequences.

MAKING THE RULES

When telling your child what you want him to do make sure you:

· are clear e.g. "no" to your toddler without explanation of why it's wrong means little to him and he is likely to do it again. If you give too much information at once he won't remember and if you don't give enough he won't know what to do.

· both understand what you mean e.g. "be polite" may not mean anything to a young child and your adolescent may have a completely different understanding from you of the same word.

· time it well e.g. saying something while your son is watching his favourite television show is not likely to be heard.

· know what your child is able to do e.g. if too hard your child may fail and you will be disappointed or angry.

· are prepared for a difference of opinion when giving choices e.g. can you handle "do you want to come with me?" and your child responds with a "no"?· don't confuse e.g. the way you look while talking can give the wrong message. Laughing at your son's mischievous behaviour while you say "no" may leave him wondering if you approve or not

are prepared to back up what you say with action. If you do not follow through your child is likely to disobey next time.

WHAT ABOUT PHYSICAL PUNISHMENT

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PostSubject: WHAT ABOUT PHYSICAL PUNISHMENT   Wed 22 Oct - 7:17


Physical punishment is only one form of discipline. It causes pain to stop behaviour and this can include hitting with a hand or an object, slapping, spanking, squeezing, whipping, punching, beating, belting

South Australian 'common law' permits physical punishment as long as it is 'reasonable' and 'moderate'

Research tells us:

· While a mild smack occasionally may not cause harm, the danger is the possibility of accidental injury or loss of control by the parent

· An immediate hit may stop your child's behaviour for the moment, but he probably will repeat it because a hit does not teach him what to do instead

· Children's feelings of anger and hurt are often so strong after being hit that they can have difficulty remembering the reasons for the punishment

· If punishment is frightening, your child can learn ways to avoid being hit by lying, cheating or blaming others

· Some children can become fearful, anxious, rebellious, or withdrawn

· Children tend to copy and may show bullying behaviour at school

· Physical punishment teaches children that violence is acceptable and is a way to solve problems to get what you want

GIVING CONSEQUENCES

Consequences (what happens when we do something) are an important part of discipline and will help teach your child responsibility. When you set rules everyone needs to be clear about the consequences

They can be natural e.g. when your child leaves his toys in a mess the natural consequence is not being able to find what he wants

They can be given by others e.g. when your child's bike is run over because it was left on the driveway he has to share the cost of repairs or do without it for a time

Consequences should be short or they will lose their meaning and should happen as soon as possible

Some examples of consequences

ProblemConsequencesLate ready for schoolGo to bed earlier so they get more sleepLose thingsHelp pay for themAggressionPlay by themselves for a while (but look for cause)StealingReplace what is stolen (but look for cause)

They should always be safe for your child

They should be linked to the original problem where possible (e.g. when your child makes a mess she should clean it up)

TIME OUT

Many parents use time out. Time out usually means standing apart from what has been happening in order to think about it. This can be in the same room or a separate place. This can be for your child or for yourself. The length of time out, the age of your child and what is happening are all very important.

It is never helpful to use time out for children under the age of 3 years. For those older, allow 1 minute for every year of your child's age.

Time out can be used to teach children to think about their behaviour, what they have done wrong and what they can change. Some children can see this as punishment and for some this can be a frightening time, so that instead of teaching them how to resolve problems it makes them more distressed or oppositional.

There are times, especially when children are very young, that stressed parents are unable to cope with children's behaviour without getting very angry and losing control. At times of great stress a brief separation may be the best thing to do for the child's sake, but make sure you leave him in a safe situation.

Sometimes a child may need to be removed from an explosive situation to protect him or other children. It is best if a calm person can stay with the child until he settles.

TIME IN

Time in means to remove the child from the situation that he cannot manage but keep him with you while you help to settle him, or just hold him, until he is able to get calm again. This is teaching time. It says to your child that you will not let him do anything to harm himself or others and that you will not let his feelings drive you away or overwhelm you. By your being with him through this you are teaching him about managing feelings and difficult situations. Time in an be a more positive and effective way of teaching than time out.

CAUSES FOR MISBEHAVIOUR align=center>If you are reasonable in what you expect of your child and tell him clearly and kindly what you want, he is more likely to be co-operative. If you try to work out the feeling beneath your child's behaviour you are more likely to find out why he misbehaves.

Behaviour is the way children tell us how they are feeling. Children's feelings are just as powerful as adults', but we often overlook this. Children can have a range of feelings in a short space of time and they can have difficulty in understanding what they are feeling, (the younger the child, the more difficult this is). Many children do not have the words to express their feelings. If their emotions are strong (hate and anger) and they think that you will not approve they may feel scared.Children's feelings will affect what they do.

Children will learn more by what they see you doing and how you live your life than by what you tell them Why is my child behaving this way?

· It may be the only way he can get your attention and angry attention is better than none.

· It may be because something is going very wrong for your child (e.g. new baby, fear of starting school, difficulty in making friends in a new area, scared by parents' arguments, family breakup). align=center>· It may be that parents' lives are so busy that he feels left out.

· It may be that he is trying to cope with changes and feels overwhelmed.

· It may be that he is irritated and frustrated by something you've done. align=center>· It may be that your child feels unfairly treated by you and wants to punish you. align=center>· It may be that your parenting style is too strict or very lax.

· It may be that your child may be needing more independence than you have allowed.

Think about what is happening in your child's world

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PostSubject: Think about what is happening in your child's world   Wed 22 Oct - 7:18


What is my child feeling?
You can try to find out what your child is feeling when he misbehaves by watching and thinking about the behaviour and then talking about it. You might say:

"You seem very angry, can you tell me what's wrong?" or, "I think you must be hurting inside" or "Tell me if you need a hug."

If your child has difficulty talking about feelings it may be helpful to talk about the situation as if it was someone else. You might say:

"When I first started school I felt scared."

"Lots of children feel disappointed when they don't win."

With very young children or those unable to talk, you have a more difficult task. Try to discover feelings by watching for facial expressions, understanding different cries or thinking about where they were and what was just happening.

DISCIPLINE FOR DIFFERENT AGES

Babies (0-1 year old)
It is a waste of time and likely to be harmful to use any kind of discipline on babies. They are completely unable to think ahead, understand reasons or remember. Instead, prevent damage (remove things) and prevent danger (remove them). Gentleness, loving touches and words are as important as feeding and clothing babies. They need to learn that the world around them is friendly and protective and they can trust you.

Crawlers and toddlers (1-3 years )
At this age children are full of life and curiosity. They learn through touch and trying things out and this often means making dirty messes or using things in the wrong way. They want to do things their own way and say "no" as they learn to be a separate person from you.

Teach and show your child new skills with patience and praise.

Distract them by giving them something else interesting to do. e.g. "Don't touch the plug, let's see if the postman's been".

Avoid battles, particularly with eating and toilet training.

Toddlers can not yet respond to consequences by changing behaviour but you can repeat and show skills together e.g. "When we make a mess we help clean it up.....now what do we do?".

Toddlers do not understand punishment and can react with fear or defiance rather than learning. Stop them by interrupting what you are doing and talk softly but firmly, showing some affection and provide some distraction.Pick your child up when she won't come, lift her to safety if she's in danger, hold her until she stops pulling the cat.

Remember to give lots of loving when your toddler is being "good".

Preschoolers (3-years)

Your child needs to learn that there is no point in making a scene or nagging to get what he wants and that you will stand firm once you have said "no".

Think before you say "no" but be sure you mean it. If, under pressure, you say something that later you realise is wrong it is important to apologise and explain why you changed your mind.

Consequences need to be short or they lose their meaning e.g. "If you leave your toys out they are put away until after tea".

The easier you make it to please, the more likely your child will try.

Notice and praise when he is doing what you want.

"No" should be a word you do not use a lot.

Children of primary school age (5-12 years)

Children at this age can understand and accept consequences. If your children share in making some of the rules and the consequences for when they are broken, they will begin learning what self discipline is all about.

If a rule is broken, the consequence should follow.

Time out can be used at this age. Always teach as well.

Try to be in step with other parents who have children the same age. If you are too far away from what most parents do, you will have difficulty getting your children to co-operate.

Teaching children how to work out ways to solve their problems is a useful skill at this age.

REMINDERS

· Discipline is about teaching and learning

· Discipline includes rules + consequences. Don't make consequences so long or harsh that they lose their meaning.

· Think about what you expect....is it reasonable?

· Talk to others about their rules.

· Ask yourself "is this what is best for my child and our family or is it just to make my life easy?"

· Spend energy on the really important things and learn to overlook minor irritations, even when you know best.

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