This week’s article focuses on older children who display challenging behaviours. Many of these tips have been taken from Bill Rogers’ book for Teachers called “You Know The Fair Rule (ACER, 1990)”, which is over 20 years old, but still highly relevant. It was written for use in the classroom, but the principles can be applied in the home.
Many children no longer give respect automatically and freely because of position or title. Behaviour management will be most effective if we learn to work with them and teach that self-control, personal accountability and respect for rights are expected. Try to approach all discipline from the stance of joint rules, rights and responsibilities within the family; not merely parents’ power and authority.
Respectful discipline also means affirming and acknowledging when your child makes a responsible choice.
We all learn best when we feel good about ourselves. Healthy self-esteem is an important goal of discipline. Encouragement, positive reinforcement, guiding, questioning and listening are the behaviours we need to achieve this goal.
We should seek to speak and act in such a way as to minimise embarrassment, confrontation and aggression. We can use language that emphasises the child’s choice, rather than the parents’ threat e.g. “You’re right, I can’t make you do your homework. You’re old enough to make that choice for yourself”.
Children are well aware of our expectations of them. One of the jobs of parents and educators is to reflect on what we might be thinking and saying that unconsciously communicates a negative message.
Positive discipline is defined by these characteristics:
– Refusal to rely on power or status
– Speaking and acting respectfully even when frustrated and angry
– Setting yourself guidelines and having a plan. That may mean you choose to tactically ignore the pouting and sulking!
– Choosing how you think about certain situations e.g. “I don’t like her swearing, but it is not the end of the world. I can cope. I won’t let it overwhelm me”.
For more information on how Chilled Kids can help your child visit our website at www.chilledkids.com, phone 0408 716 350 or email firstname.lastname@example.org