Tag Archives: Parent

Our Thoughts on Discipline — Stop YELLING!

7 Sep

I know, I know… it’s impossible isn’t it?  And no, we’re not yell-free at our house — we wish.  This article to me is more of a reminder of why we shouldn’t yell and I’ll sure as heck try to not yell – because funny thing is, I know it doesn’t work – yet it slips out anyways when the Ms. Hannigan in me rears her ugly head.  I remember a time when I was child-free looking at other parents yelling at the kids in the store/park/etc. and thinking “that is NOT going to be me”.  Well alas, just the other day at the library no less I found myself seeing my toddler try hopping down stairs while distractedly looking around and for some reason the yell just ripped out of me “STOP! What are you thinking?!?!” echoed through the silence – ugh.  Worse, since the toddler is a bit more rambunctious than my older child, I find myself yelling at her more than I ever did  her older sister… so what do you think happened?  My munchkin is more of a yeller :0/ – I’m not going to take all of the credit for this, but I’m certainly not faultless (waaaaaaah) – I see my hubs raising his voice in exasperation at well… BUT we are trying to change.

What we do believe in is modeling, we have to model behavior we want our children to have, there is no way around it (save for boarding school – haha).  We also aren’t aiming to be perfect parents by any means, you know where I categorize this?  Parenting as a way for me to become a better person, and being a better person means getting a hold of my temper and dealing with things in a more even-tempered way.  The truth is, what I realize now is that it is sometimes not the act itself that makes me yell but something else that isn’t even my child’s fault – like when I don’t get enough sleep the night before, or when I’m so busy with a million and one errands I need to get done.  But yelling doesn’t solve anything, and it certainly doesn’t make me feel better.  So goodbye yeller mom!  Hello zen mom with a cup of coffee in her hands 😉

10 Ways to Stop Yelling

overwhelmed parent
Breathe

Inhale. Exhale. Repeat. Sometimes all it takes is a moment to cool down.

You told your child to pick up all his toys and get ready for bed. Five minutes later when you check in, the toy cars are still all over. You feel your blood start to boil. You’re on the verge of losing it. Turn around, close your eyes, and breathe. Take a moment to collect yourself — and your emotions. Michelle LaRowe, author of A Mom’s Ultimate Book of Lists, says, “Take a time-out. If you’re worked up, you’re only going to work up your child. Before addressing your child, take a deep breath and think through what you’re going to say, calmly.”

child jumping on couch
Address the Behavior

We all have good kids; sometimes their behavior just stinks.

When you’re teaching your children to ride their bikes, do you punish them when they don’t get it the first try? Of course not. You encourage them, support them, and give them guidance. Rex Forehand, Ph.D., author of Parenting the Strong-Willed Child: The Third Edition, with Nicholas Long, Ph.D., says that disciplining your children should be the same way. “When we think about teaching our children, we usually go about it in positive ways, that is except for behavior,” Dr. Forehand says. “For some reason we think that punishment should be our teaching tool.” It doesn’t need to be. When your child hits another child during a playdate, it’s easy to react with yelling, “Stop! Don’t do that!” Instead, Dr. Forehand suggests focusing on addressing the specific behavior and taking the opportunity to patiently teach your child why hitting is wrong.

mother talking to child
Mean Business Without Being Mean

Instead of yelling, use a firm, but soft, I-mean-business tone when giving behavior directions.

Direction that makes the most impact on a child is actually one that is stern and even somewhat gentle, says LaRowe. “When you speak in a calm but firm soft voice, children have to work to listen — and they most always do. The calmer and softer you speak, the more impact your words will have,” she says. Not only will your child most likely grasp your instructions faster, you won’t have to lose your voice trying to convey it.

mother talking to child
Help Your Child Explain Feelings

Before you lose your cool because your child has misbehaved, figure out what is causing the behavior.

One of the biggest reasons toddlers misbehave is they simply haven’t learned an alternative approach to displaying their feelings. “Our goal as parents should be to teach our children how to effectively express themselves by validating their feelings without validating their behavior,” LaRowe says. Next time Tommy pushes a friend who just knocked over his blocks, stray away from the tempting ridicule of yelling “No! Don’t do that!” LaRowe suggests instead explaining why the action is bad. “Tommy, I understand you are mad that your friend knocked over your blocks. It’s okay to be mad, but when you are mad you tell your friend ‘I’m mad;’ you don’t push.”

toddler in timeout
Have Clear Rules & Follow Through

Not carrying out your threats will result in them testing you — and you getting angry.

“Jenna, please turn off the TV.” Five minutes later, Jenna is still watching TV. “Jenna, I mean it, turn off the TV or you will sit in time-out.” Five minutes later, Jenna is still watching TV. “Jenna, I mean it …” Empty threats and nagging won’t work on your children, and eventually they will call your bluff. And when they do, it’s likely parents will find themselves frustrated and yelling. But this is easy to avoid. Have clear rules. When you state a consequence, follow through.

mother talking to her child
Give Praise for Okay Behavior

Parents praise their children for good behavior, and scold for the bad, but what about the in-between?

Children love getting attention from their parents, sometimes even if it’s bad. “Parents tend to give attention to their child either by praising them for good behavior or punishing them for bad behavior. And at times a child will take either or,” says Dr. Long, who advises to ignore your children when they are acting badly, such as whining to get attention. “If you yell at them, you are still giving them the interest they wanted, and therefore they will continue to use negative behavior to get a reaction from you,” Dr. Long says. If you praise behavior, even when it is just okay, then your child will be more likely to repeat it because of the way you took notice.

child hugging mother
A Strong Bond Makes Discipline Easier

The stronger your relationship is with your child, the stronger your discipline will hold.

At this age your child wants to be close to you. Take advantage of it and reaffirm your bond with your child. Not only will it strengthen the relationship between parent and child, but your child will then have a greater respect for you. According to Parenting the Strong-Willed Child: The Third Edition, the closer you are to your child, the less likely your child is to act up, even though no child is perfect. “A child who has a strong relationship with a parent is more prone to accept the discipline offered by a parent,” Dr. Long says.

toddler discipline

Are you hurt when someone yells at you? Of course; so why wouldn’t your child be?

“Our goal as parents should be to teach our children and to build them up, not to tear them down. When we yell at our children we risk damaging their self-esteem and sense of self-worth,” LaRowe says. Consider how you’d feel if your boss yelled at you. You’d likely be embarrassed and hurt. LaRowe points out that often you don’t have a chance to process what your boss is saying because of how it was said. The same goes for your child. You want to be able to teach him what is acceptable and what is not without making him feel shame or embarrassment.

mom putting toddler to bed
Good Eating & Sleeping Habits

Healthy children are the happiest children.

Parents underestimate the power of what a well-balanced diet and a good sleeping schedule can do for a child’s behavior. If you think about it, what are two of the major underlying problems that cause toddlers to act up? Hunger and fatigue. Well-rested, well-nourished children who are on predictable schedules tend to have fewer behavioral issues. On the flip side, the better your sleeping and eating habits are as a parent, the more likely you are to keep your cool longer — and catch yourself before you start yelling.

Stop Sibling Squabbles
We’re Not Perfect

No matter how hard we try, sometimes we will slip up and yell. And that’s okay, as long as we know how to make it right.

Your child has been driving you up the wall all day. You have tried to keep your cool and follow all the steps, and yet you still feel your temper escalating. And then, one small mishap from your child, and you lose it. You raise your voice, and there’s no taking it back now. Dr. Forehand and Dr. Long suggest talking to your children when you’ve calmed down after yelling. “It’s important to explain that Mommy or Daddy didn’t mean to raise their voice, and that they didn’t mean to get mad,” Dr. Forehand says. “Explain to them that it frustrates Mommy or Daddy when they don’t listen, and ask them to do better, and that you will, too.”

Copyright 2010 Meredith Corporation.

shim


parents
http://www.parents.comBringing together the power of respected magazine brands including American Baby and Parents, the Parents Network is your go-to destination for parenting information. From first kicks to first steps and on to the first day of school, we are here to help you celebrate the joys and navigate the challenges of parenthood.
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Our Thoughts on Discipline – Techniques to Tame Your Kid’s Tantrums

17 May

I guess we’re sort of lucky – both our kids (or at least more of our oldest one) – tended not to throw tantrums – I have to admit in our case it might be a mixture of genetics and attachment parenting.  When either child would start acting up I would wear them (in a baby/child carrier) and that would pretty much nip it in the bud – I swear my youngest is more temperamental because she’s bigger than her sister was at her age so I tend to shy away from carrying her all the time :0/ .  There are times with my toddler that things do seem to get out of hand real quick especially when I don’t understand her.  There is always a fine line between ‘giving in’ and responding positively to her needs being a stay at home mom – I really can’t tolerate growing levels of whining which tend to end in tantrums – because that would then take up most of my time – and with no ‘break’ away from my child I can’t exactly ‘leave’ to cool down myself – so I go out of my way to avoid a tantrum.  Before children, I never understood why parents were so anal about naps — well now I know.  It really IS important – having a schedule, making sure kids (and parents) are rested and having activities where the kids can expend energy are all very important.

10 Ways to Tame Your Kid’s Tantrums

preschooler hrowing fit

When your kid’s in the middle of a tantrum, it can be tough to keep yourself from having your own meltdown, too.
“Meltdowns are terrible, nasty things, but they’re a fact of childhood,” says Ray Levy, PhD, a Dallas-based clinical psychologist and co-author of Try and Make Me! Simple Strategies That Turn Off the Tantrums and Create Cooperation. “Young kids — namely those between the ages of 1 and 4 — haven’t developed good coping skills yet. They tend to just lose it instead.” And what, exactly, sets them off to begin with? Every single tantrum, Levy says, results from one simple thing: not getting what they want. “For children between 1 and 2, tantrums often stem from trying to communicate a need — more milk, a diaper change, that toy over there — but not having the language skills to do it,” says Levy. “They get frustrated when you don’t respond to what they’re ‘saying’ and throw a fit.” For older toddlers, tantrums are more of a power struggle. “By the time kids are 3 or 4, they have grown more autonomous,” Levy adds. “They’re keenly aware of their needs and desires — and want to assert them more. If you don’t comply? Tantrum city.”
So how can you stop these outbursts? What follows are 10 freak-out fixes that both parenting experts and other moms swear by.

toddler crying
Ignore the Kid

The reason this works is fascinating: “During a tantrum, your child is literally out of his mind. His emotions take over — overriding the frontal cortex of the brain, the area that makes decisions and judgments,” says Jay Hoecker, MD, a Rochester, Minnesota, pediatrician. “That’s why reasoning doesn’t help — the reasoning part of his brain isn’t working.” Says Alan Kazdin, PhD, author of The Kazdin Method for Parenting the Defiant Child, “Once you’re in a situation where someone’s drowning, you can’t teach them to swim — and it’s the same with tantrums. There’s nothing to do in the moment that will make things better. In fact, almost anything you try will make it worse. Once he chills out, then you can talk.”

toddler crying
Give Your Child Some Space

“Sometimes a kid just needs to get his anger out. So let him!” says Linda Pearson, a nurse practitioner and author ofThe Discipline Miracle. (Just make sure there’s nothing in tantrum’s way that could hurt him.) “I’m a big believer in this approach because it helps children learn how to vent in a nondestructive way. They’re able to get their feelings out, pull themselves together, and regain self-control — without engaging in a yelling match or battle of wills with you.” This trick can work on its own or in tandem with the whole ignoring bit.

girl with cookie jar
Create a Diversion

This is all about a deft mental switcheroo — getting your kid engaged and interested in something else so she forgets about the meltdown she was just having. “My purse is filled with all sorts of distractions, like toys — ones my kids haven’t seen in a while, books, and yummy snacks,” says Alisa Fitzgerald, a mom of two from Boxford, Massachusetts. Whenever a tantrum happens, she busts ’em out, one at a time, until something gets the kids’ attention. “I’ve also found that distraction can help ward off a major meltdown before it happens, if you catch it in time,” she adds. If your kid is about to go off the deep end at the supermarket because you won’t buy the super-frosted sugar-bomb cereal, try quickly switching gears and enthusiastically saying something like, “Hey, we need some ice cream. Want to help me pick a flavor?” or “Ooh, check out the lobster tank over there!” Explains Levy: “Children have pretty short attention spans — which means they’re usually easy to divert. And it always helps if you sound really, really psyched when you do it. It gets their mind off the meltdown and on to the next thing that much faster.” Fitzgerald agrees: “You have to channel your inner actress and be an entertainer — one with props!”

sulking
Find Out What’s Really Frustrating Your Kid

This trick is for tantrums among the under-2-and-a-half set, says Dr. Hoecker. “Children this age usually have a vocabulary of only about 50 words and can’t link more than two together at a time. Their communication is limited, yet they have all these thoughts and wishes and needs to be met. When you don’t get the message or misunderstand, they freak out to release their frustration.” One solution, he says: sign language. Teaching your child how to sign a few key words — such as more, food, milk, and tired — can work wonders.
Another approach is to empathize with your kid, which helps take some of the edge off the tantrum, and then play detective. “My 22-month-old throws tantrums that can last up to — yikes! — 20 minutes,” says Melanie Pelosi, a mom of three from West Windsor, New Jersey. “We’ve taught her some words in sign language, but if she wants something like a movie, she won’t know how to ask for it — and still freaks out. So I say, ‘Show me what you want,’ and then I see if she’ll point to it. It’s not always obvious, but with a little time and practice you begin to communicate better. If she points to her older brother, for example, that usually means that he’s snatched something away from her, and I can ask him to give it back. I can’t tell you how many awful, drawn-out meltdowns we’ve avoided this way!”

big hug
Hugs

“This may feel like the last thing you want to do when your kid is freaking out, but it really can help her settle down,” Levy says. “I’m talking about a big, firm hug, not a supercuddly one. And don’t say a word when you do it — again, you’d just be entering into a futile battle of wills. Hugs make kids feel secure and let them know that you care about them, even if you don’t agree with their behavior.” Cartwright Holecko, of Neenah, Wisconsin, finds that it helps: “Sometimes I think they just need a safe place to get their emotions out.”

toddler sleeping
Offer Food or Suggest a Little R&R

“Being tired and hungry are the two biggest tantrum triggers,” says Levy. Physically, the kid is already on the brink, so it won’t take much emotionally to send him over. “Parents often come to me wondering why their child is having daily meltdowns. And it turns out they’re happening around the same time each day — before lunch or naptime and in the early evening. It’s no coincidence! My advice: feed them, water them, and let them veg — whether that means putting them to bed or letting them watch a little TV.” Think how cranky you get when you miss out on sleep or your blood sugar hits rock bottom, he says. With young kids, who have greater sleep and food needs, the effect is magnified tenfold.

child holding ice cream bar
Give Your Kid Incentive to Behave

Certain situations are trying for kids. Maybe it’s sitting through a long meal at a restaurant or staying quiet in church. Whatever the hissy hot button, this is the trick: “It’s about recognizing when you’re asking a lot of your child and offering him a little preemptive bribe,” Pearson says. “While you’re on your way to the restaurant, for example, tell him, ‘Alex, Mommy is asking you to sit and eat your dinner nicely tonight. I really think you can do it! And if you can behave, then when we get home I’ll let you watch a video.'” For the record, Pearson says this kind of bribery is perfectly fine, as long as it’s done on your terms and ahead of time — not under duress in the middle of a tantrum. If your kid starts to lose it at any point, gently remind him about the “treat” you discussed. “It’s amazing how this can instantly whip them back into shape,” says Pearson.

discipline
Speak Calmly

This is a biggie — and is much easier said than done. But experts insist you must keep your cool during a child’s tantrum. “Otherwise, you’ll get into a power struggle and make the whole thing escalate. Plus, part of the reason kids resort to tantrums is to get attention,” Dr. Hoecker says. “They don’t care if it’s positive or negative attention they’re getting. All they care about is that you’re giving them 100 percent of it.” Levy agrees, and adds: “Talking in a soothing voice shows your child that you’re not going to let her behavior get to you. It also helps you stay relaxed — when what you really want to do is yell right back. In fact, the calm tone is as much for the parent as the child! If you’re tense, your kid will pick up on it, and it’s going to amp her up even more.”

crying girl with mom
Laugh It Off

Every parent dreads public tantrums, for obvious reasons. You worry other parents will think you’re a bad mom — that you’ve raised an out-of-control demon child. But that, says Kazdin, can tempt you to make choices that will only lead to more fits. “Kids, even very young ones, are smart,” he says. “If you get angry or stressed or cave in and let him get his way just to end the meltdown before more people start staring, he’ll learn that — aha! — it works.” Your best bet, Kazdin says, is to suck it up, plaster a little Mona Lisa smile on your face, and pretend everything is just peachy. And what are others thinking? “We know from studies that the only thing people judge is your reaction to the meltdown,” says Levy. “If you look calm and like you’ve got it under control — yes, even though you’re not doing anything to stop the fit — they think, Now that’s a good mom.”

holding child
Get Out of There

Getting kids away from the scene of the tantrum can snap them out of it. “It’s also a great strategy when you’re out and about,” says Levy. “If your child starts melting down over a toy or candy bar he wants, pick him up and take him either to a different area of the store or outside until he calms down. Changing the venue really can change the behavior.”
Originally published in the October 2008 issue of American Baby magazine.

shim


parents
http://www.parents.comBringing together the power of respected magazine brands including American Baby and Parents, the Parents Network is your go-to destination for parenting information. From first kicks to first steps and on to the first day of school, we are here to help you celebrate the joys and navigate the challenges of parenthood.

Raising a Well-Rounded Kid…How? Now?

22 Apr

This article really resonated with me.  I am a big believer that with parenting sometimes the little things are what matter.  Eating meals together, praising efforts,  encouraging special skills are what we aim to do almost everyday as parents.  These are things that seem easy or common sense enough, but are actually things that need ‘working on’ in order to succeed.  It’s funny, our 5 year-old to most people may seem pretty well-rounded as a child, but it took a lot of trial-and-error and soul-searching together for her to achieve her balance in life (yes, even at 5).  She is a happy violinist and a pretty advanced reader – what it took for us to get there was chucking soccer aside (she hated it) and swimming (not a fan), and changing pre-schools twice before finding the right fit.  The hard part is that we did not go all tiger-parent on her and enforce the violin practices or sat with her to force-feed reading.  It happens pretty organically when you trip-upon what works and follow the child’s interests.

A good parent aims for a well-balanced child – because a well-balanced child tends to be a happier child.  What we found is that a mix of listening (really listening) to your child’s interests, wants and needs, as well as knowing when to trace-back and start a new path builds a good foundation for the beginning stages of fulfilling your child’s potential as a total person.

Below is the article from Parents.Com (one of my favorite parenting resources!).

7 Ways to Raise a Well-Rounded Kid

Girl on bed

The key to raising a well-rounded child is to establish a solid support system at home so that she grows up satisfied with her achievements and ambitions. “The goal as a parent is to help your child feel competent and confident, and to help her develop a sense of passion and purpose,” says Susan Stiffelman, MFT, an educational therapist and author of Parenting Without Power Struggles. It’s the education that happens before she sets foot into school that is crucial in bringing up such a child.

“If you want to enhance your child’s learning abilities to eventually boost her academic performance, it will take consistency, dedication, and patience,” says Michele Borba, Ed.D., an advisor for Parents and the author of The Big Book of Parenting Solutions. Consider these seven techniques if you’re looking to raise a child who is well-balanced, healthy, and happy with her accomplishments.

Children taking karate lessons
Encourage Special Skills

Every child has unique gifts and talents. These special attributes can show up in a traditional school setting, but there are plenty of children who shine after the final bell has rung for the day. Activities like a mommy-and-me music class or karate lessons can open their minds, but your wallet does’t need to be involved. “Do not underestimate the power of unstructured play,” says Stiffelman. Playing catch in the yard, dancing in the living room, and chasing after lightning bugs provide opportunities for intellectual, physical, and personal development. Stiffelman also suggests finding a hobby or two for yourself. “Allowing your child to see you trying something new may inspire her to do the same.”

father giving son high five
Applaud and Praise Efforts

Research conducted by Carol Dweck, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology at Stanford University and a leading researcher in the field of achievement and success, discovered that a person’s mind-set can influence behavior. When it comes to parenting, she suggests praising your child for his hard work instead of labeling him as “smart” or “talented.” People with a fixed mind-set are usually reluctant to take on challenges because they believe their achievements come from innate abilities. Those with a growth mind-set are usually more willing to face challenges with hard work because they believe in always learning new skills. “Above all, keep in mind that the grade is not what motivates a top student to succeed — it’s his inner drive for learning,” adds Borba.

Child doing homework

Just because you need complete silence while typing an e-mail or balancing your checkbook doesn’t mean your child needs a noise-free environment when doing his homework. Harvard researcher Howard Gardner established eight kinds of intelligences, or ways kids learn best, some that include musical, logical-mathematical, linguistic, and interpersonal traits. The trick is to pay attention to how your child learns best so you can identify her specific learning style. For example, if your school-age child is visual, consider using flash cards when she’s trying to memorize multiplication tables. If your child falls into the interpersonal intelligence category (that is, he has people smarts), help him improve his vocabulary by connecting descriptive words to people like friends, relatives, and historical figures.

child reading
Read, Read, Read

When it comes to picking up a book and having story time with your kid, there is no such thing as starting too early. Reading to preschoolers — and keeping books at home — encourages language development, reading skills, and future success in school. “Even if your child is still too young to understand everything you’re saying, he will learn to notice the rhythms of language, which will help him build a listening vocabulary,” explains Susan M. Heim, author ofIt’s Twins! Parent-to-Parent Advice from Infancy Through Adolescence. In fact, reading to your child has been proven to help him emotionally: A government-funded study conducted by The Institute of Education in the United Kingdom found that 5-year-olds who were read to daily by their parents were less likely to have behavioral problems in school.

family eating
Eat Dinner Together

Don’t worry if cooking isn’t your strongest skill — your child will reap the educational and emotional rewards from conversation, not chicken cacciatore. “Informal discussion topics (‘How was your day?,’ ‘What are you discussing in science?’ ‘How will you study for that test?’) lets your child know your family values learning,” explains Borba. A study conducted by Columbia University showed that children who eat at least five meals a week with their families are more likely to achieve higher grades in school and are less likely to develop an eating disorder. If everyone in your home is on a different schedule and can’t enjoy dinner at the same time, find another meal (like breakfast or an evening snack) when your family can sit together and review the day’s events.

mother putting child to bed
Balance Bedtime

Establishing a bedtime — and keeping to it every single night — can be highly effective, but Borba further suggests turning off the computer and TV at least 30 minutes beforehand. If your child has access to a cell phone, she recommends taking it before bedtime because “62 percent of kids admit they use it after the lights go out — and their parents are clueless!” In 2005 researchers at Tel Aviv University found that missing just one hour of sleep can be enough to reduce a child’s cognitive abilities by almost two years the following day. Borba says that a sixth grader who loses precious zzz’s the night before a big test could end up performing at a fourth- grade level.

mother and daughter
Dole Out Endless Hugs

Giving your child a number of hugs throughout the day will help ease any tension she may be feeling. “There’s nothing like the human touch to give a child a sense of security,” says Heim. Studies of neglected children have shown that kids who don’t receive affection can suffer from chronic stress, which can disturb the parts of the brain involved in focusing, learning, and memory. A study in the American Journal of Public Health, published in 2005, reports that touching another person gently has the power to alleviate symptoms — emotional, behavioral, and physical — related to stress. Not only will hugging your little one improve her ability to concentrate, it will also have benefits for you (and make you feel like a million bucks).

Let Your Child Declutter Their Artwork – You May Be Surprised!

16 Aug

I’ve written a couple posts on “what to do with your child‘s artwork.”  We had artwork coming out of our ears not to forget  crafts of all sizes, shapes and colors.  Although I would like to think that in the area of sentimentality, we rate ourselves on the more average scale, this summer my wife and I discovered that our five year-old daughter, Julia, is actually less attached to her “master-pieces” than we are!

We are big believers in getting the child involved in household chores, some decisions, etc., so when it came time to sort through the pile of artwork that accumulated in a box and around her art area, we had Julia decide what to keep in her “memory box” and what to place in the recycle bin.  We were amazed at how casually she kept saying “toss it” or “recycle.”  My wife admitted herself that she would have kept about 50% of the pieces whereas Julia only said “keep” to less than 10%!  This made us realize that for kids (Julia is 5), their attachment to their art is really the “process” of creating and perhaps the admiring of the latest piece for a day or week.  After that, they have totally moved on to the next project/activity!  We are glad we got her started in this process early rather than later.

Our daughter's now semi-empty art window - ready for the new school year!

So, we still initially held on to “mom & dad’s” favorite pieces to be photographed, etc.  But only Julia’s selections will go into her memory box (actually, more like a big tote as it gets filled with certificates, ticket stubs, playbills, etc.).

Lessons learned:

  1. Children may not be as attached to their art work as parents think they are, especially as time passes and new creations/techniques are mastered.
  2. Your child may be better, much better, at de-cluttering that pile of artwork and letting go then dear old mom and dad!
  3. By starting them earlier rather than later, you might be able to foster better habits of ‘letting go’ than if you wait till they are older.

Of course, now due to Julia’s diligence in getting rid of almost everything –  my wife has started her own memory box.  Some things won’t change ;0)

Happy organizing!

Discipline Tactics for Infants to School Age Children

1 Aug

 

Parenting – from the birth of a child we look for milestones to give praise (first smile, firm grip of parents’ finger, etc.) and discipline comes along shortly thereafter – initially for safety (stay away from electric outlets, cords, etc.).  But once your child is a toddler and understands what is being said to him/her, mindless praise like “Good Boy” can become meaningless – Be specific – What did he do that was good?  In my home we try to say “Thank you for helping put away the toys”, “Look how happy you made your sister by playing nicely with her”, “You should be proud of yourself for remembering to wash your hands before dinner”, and “That’s great that you shared your treat when your sister saw you with a snack.”

Once an infant is mobile – starts crawling & getting into things, rather than always using the word “NO” (come on, who wants to hear the word no all the time), my wife and I felt “Stop”, “Be Careful” or “That’s dangerous” worked well and provided the same message. 

When it come to having our 19-month-old and 5-year-old girls stick to a schedule or complete one thing before moving on to another, we found “First X, then Y” to be very effective.  “First put away the dress-up clothes, then you can play a board game.”  “First take a bath, then you can read books.”  “First help clear the dining table, then we can have dessert.”  This keeps it simple and clearly states what’s expected and in what order.  If it’s an extremely unruly day, we have to step it up a notch – “If you are not done cleaning up your art table within the next 10 minutes, we will not have time for a bike ride before dinner.” This higher level statement tells your child what is expected, in what time frame and what they will possibly be giving up & why.  When giving a time limit, if your child knows how tell time on a clock it’s helpful to state the time deadline (4:45pm).  If they do not know how to tell time on a clock, set a timer on your cell phone and give a 2-5 minute warning.

Along the lines of this parenting topic, below is an article from Parents.Com with some more helpful tips.  What works for you?  Please share by leaving a comment!  Thanks!

 

Discipline Tactics For Every Age

mother and son laughing
Praise the Positive

Who? Birth and up

Why? Discipline won’t work if the only time you focus on your child is when he’s acting up. Children crave recognition from their parents, and, although positive attention is ideal, they’ll take what they can get–even if that means an angry reaction to the whack they just gave their little brother. Barbara Stefanacci, a mother of two from Clifton, New Jersey, recognizes that her children’s tantrums are a cry for attention: “They’re close in age and always competing with each other.” So how does she handle this rivalry? “I talk to them. If that doesn’t work, I give them a huge hug, which usually puts them back in a good mood.”

How? Try to “catch” children being good. It’s as simple as thanking your son for picking the toy trucks off the floor (never mind that he’s the reason they’re there in the first place) or for sharing his toys with his sister. It’s important to be specific when offering praise. Phrases like “good boy” don’t encourage a behavior–they’ll make your child think that he (and not his action) is either good or bad, rather than teaching him that sharing, for example, is the practice that makes you proud.

upset toddler
Create a Diversion

Who? 6 to 24 months

Why? The word “no” becomes more common when babies start crawling and can get into things previously out of their reach. While their behavior may be irksome, kids are just indulging their natural curiosity.

How? When you catch your baby reaching for a lamp cord, get her attention by calling her name or making a funny sound. Offer her a more acceptable toy, explaining, “Let’s play with these blocks rather than that cord–I wouldn’t want the lamp to fall and hurt you.” While most children this age aren’t able to remember rules, they are easily distracted.

toddler taking bath
Set a Schedule

Who? 6 months and up

Why? Power struggles and meltdowns over bedtime and cleaning up are common with toddlers. With consistent routines, children are more likely to feel they have control over what happens to them, which can help to reduce outbursts.

Although it may be hard to believe when your kid refuses to forgo playing with her new toy and take a bath, children do take comfort in being able to predict, it’s bathtime now, which means that bedtime must be coming soon. Routines provide a sense of security, and it’s your job as a parent to provide these feelings of safety and love.

How? Routines, and the rules that come with them, vary from household to household, but the trick here is to make sure you set limits you know you’ll follow through on, such as a 7 p.m. bedtime or always washing your hands before eating. Otherwise, kids become what Lynn Lott, coauthor of Positive Discipline A-Z, calls parent deaf: When parents give an order, children tune out the instructions because the rules haven’t been enforced in the past and therefore probably won’t be enforced this time.

child behavior
Explain Yourself

Who? 24 months and up

Why? At this age children are beginning to grasp the difference between right and wrong. By giving your child a reason for your instruction, you’re allowing her to understand why one behavior is better than another, which “sets kids up for being able to handle similar decisions on their own in the future,” Lott explains.

How? Instead of always telling a child what not to do, explain to her what you’d like her to do, then follow up with specifics. For instance, if you see your daughter starting to scrawl a masterpiece on your wall, resist the urge to yell, “No!” while yanking the crayon out of her hand. Explain that although coloring is a great idea, you shouldn’t do it on walls. Let her know that in the future, she needs to do all her coloring on paper.

child in timeout
Break Up the Action

Who? 24 months and up

Why? “Time-outs are a way of breaking the behavior cycle,” says T. Berry Brazelton, coauthor of Discipline: The Brazelton Way. They not only allow your child time to calm down, but they offer a minute of relief for you as well.

How? Time-outs are just a break from the tension of the moment, so they shouldn’t last more than a couple of minutes, or until the child has calmed down, even if it takes only 30 seconds. Lead him to a chair away from toys. Explain that he needs to stay there until he can calm down. When he’s ready to talk, tell him why you think he was misbehaving (e.g., “You were mad because Tommy took your toy”). This will help him recognize and deal with his feelings. Once the air is cleared, offer him a hug so he knows you were unhappy with his behavior, not with him. “This is the time to show your child that he can be in the wrong and still be forgiven, respected, and loved,” adds Elizabeth Pantley, author of The No-Cry Discipline Solution.

toddler tantrum
Tantrum Tip

Tantrums are a toddler’s way of voicing frustration. When Kristine Mancusi, a mother from Wallington, New Jersey, senses a tantrum coming on, her tactic is simple: “I wait a few seconds, take a deep breath, and let my son go with it.” Intense emotions are a natural part of life, so allow your child the chance to be angry. Let her know that you’re ready to talk once she’s calmed down–and do talk to her. You may be happy to get past the fit, but if you discuss the reasons behind the fireworks, you’ll help avoid a similar scene in the future.

Copyright © 2009 Meredith Corporation.

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parents
http://www.parents.comBringing together the power of respected magazine brands including American Baby and Parents, the Parents Network is your go-to destination for parenting information. From first kicks to first steps and on to the first day of school, we are here to help you celebrate the joys and navigate the challenges of parenthood.

Effective Discipline is Not Punishment

8 Jul

Parenting – there is no super training class or master manual to read before anything or everything happens.  Sure, there are plenty of parenting books out there, but you can’t read them all before a situation happens…  Most times, I think parenting is a hands-on, drop you right into the pan type of job.  So, as new parenting experiences occur, we must then chat with parenting cohorts, search the web, read books/articles on what to do and how to handle the “new” situation.  Most of the time our initial reaction may not be the best way to handle what just happened.  So, here’s a great article I came across that provides wonderful examples and to me served as a good reminder on how to access and react.  I hope you find it helpful too!

Feel free to share any stories or tips by writing a comment.  Thanks! 

 

8 Smart Discipline Fixes

What to do when your child acts up, melts down, and is having one of those days.

By Marguerite Lamb

American Baby

A Smart Start

Does discipline for babies sound Draconian?

If so, you’re probably confusing discipline with punishment. But effective discipline is not about punishing; it’s about teaching children to manage their behaviors and emotions so they grow into self-reliant, resilient individuals. It begins in infancy, when you gently nudge your baby onto a regular feeding and sleeping schedule. It continues when you later allow her to soothe herself to sleep or to entertain herself for brief periods. It extends into the toddler years, as you encourage her to flex her autonomy within safe limits. And it becomes paramount in the preschool years, as you nurture your child’s emerging character and conscience.

“Discipline is the guidance that parents give to their children to help them develop viable social and life skills,” observes Jane Nelsen, EdD, a licensed family and child therapist and coauthor of the best-selling Positive Discipline series (Three Rivers Press). If it sounds like a big job, it is — and one that requires more than that old reliable time-out. Here are eight smart strategies for encouraging the best from your child now and in the years ahead.

Anticipate Age-Appropriate Antics

Your 12-month-old is drawn to your daffodils like a honeybee — a 20-pound honeybee with opposable thumbs that are perfect for crushing petals! You’ve told him repeatedly not to touch the flowers, so why does he race straight for them, in full-destruct mode, whenever you’re outside?

The Problem: Unrealistic expectations. Before about 18 months, children are developmentally incapable of controlling their impulses. They’re also incapable of willful misbehavior because they have no concept yet that others’ thoughts and wants may differ from theirs. And what they want, more than anything, is to explore their widening world. “The job of toddlers is to learn what their eyes and ears and fingers and tongue tell them,” notes Jean Illsley Clarke, PhD, a parent educator and author of Time-In: When Time-Out Doesn’t Work (Parenting Press). “So you don’t want to always be saying, ‘Don’t touch!’ because touching is how they learn.”

The Fix: To the extent that’s practical, childproof your home and yard so your child can roam without continually hearing “No!” If he is drawn to something fragile that can’t be moved (like your garden), think distraction and redirection. Encourage him to pluck dandelions sprouting from your lawn, or blow bubbles for him to chase and pop. “Interrupt the behavior,” advises Clarke, “by turning the child’s attention to something he can explore.”

Validate Your Child’s Feelings

Your 2-year-old is happily swinging at the park until she hears those dreaded words: “Sweetie, it’s time to go home.” Like a flash thunderstorm, she erupts into a full-blown fit. Irritated, you insist that she stop crying and come right now, or you’re never bringing her to the park again. She cries louder and clings even tighter to the swing’s chains.

The Problem: No one, whether 2 or 102, likes to feel bullied or controlled, which is why demanding compliance from an angry, agitated toddler invariably escalates the tantrum.

The Fix: Acknowledge the legitimacy of your child’s feelings. “Think of it from your child’s perspective: you’re angry because she wants to stay at the park. Does that mean it’s bad to want to stay at the park?” asks Nelsen. Instead, try: “I understand you’re mad because you want to stay and we have to leave. But we have to go now.” Then kindly but firmly pick her up and carry her to the car (remember, at this age, actions speak louder than arguments). “Don’t give in to your child’s feelings and don’t try to talk her out of her feelings. Just let her have them,” counsels Nelsen. “It sounds so basic, but many parents have difficulty allowing children to experience their emotions because we don’t like to see our kids upset. But children do better when they feel better — and we make children feel better when we recognize their feelings and their right to have them.”

Show, Don’t Tell

You’re chatting with a potential new-mom friend at the playground when suddenly her toddler lets out a howl. You turn to see your own 20-month-old pulling on the other child’s hair as if it were the pay-dirt string on a birthday pinata. You rush over, separate the kids, and sternly admonish, “No pull hair! No pull hair!”

The Problem: Your daughter hears “pull hair, pull hair!” — precisely what you don’t want her to do — and still may not understand what she should do instead.

The Fix: Take her hand while saying, “Gentle touch, gentle touch,” and help her to softly stroke your own hair. “When it comes to discipline, children this age understand actions and energy much more than words,” observes Nelsen. “It’s much more effective to kindly, firmly, show them what they can do, rather than angrily lecture them about what they can’t.”

Fortunately, by between 18 and 36 months your child’s vocabulary will jump from about 20 words to nearly 1,000, which means she’ll be both better equipped to communicate verbally — and less likely to act aggressively.

Play by the Rules

You have a rule that your child must help put away his toys before bedtime stories. But you’re often too tired to enforce that routine, so you pick up his toys yourself before settling down for the umpteenth reading of One Duck Stuck. Lately, however, you’ve begun to worry about being too lax, so tonight you insist your son put his blocks away. Instead, he lies on the floor and whines. Frustrated, you put his blocks away and pronounce, “No stories tonight!” His whimpers turn into wails.

The Problem: Inconsistency invites power struggles, since most kids, from toddlers to teens, will push to see where their real limits are, says David Walsh, PhD, author of No: Why Kids — of All Ages — Need to Hear It and Ways Parents Can Say It (Free Press). In the process, children may gain a false sense of power, but they lose the sense of security that comes with defined boundaries. “Kids need predictability to feel safe,” explains Walsh.

The Fix: Choose a few family rules that you care enough about to consistently enforce. “You don’t have to fix everything. The goal is not to have a perfectly behaved child,” reminds Walsh. “The goal is to raise a confident, competent child who can recognize and respect limits.” Explain the rules, and the consequences of breaking the rules, to your child. If possible, consequences should flow naturally from the misbehavior so your child can plainly see the cause and effect. For example, if the rule is no playing with your food, a logical consequence might be taking the child’s plate away. Give him a warning, and let him know what will happen if he ignores you. Emphasize that if he chooses to break a rule, he also chooses the consequence. “This way it’s not you inflicting the consequence,” explains Walsh. “It’s your child choosing the consequence by choosing the behavior.”

Ask, Don’t Tell

Your 3-year-old walks over to where his big sister is drawing, grabs a marker, and puts a line across her latest masterpiece. You take the marker from his hand and scold: “You’ve ruined your sister’s picture. Say you’re sorry right now!”

The Problem: Lecturing kids about what happened, how they should feel about it, and what they should do to fix it robs them of the chance to learn from their mistakes, says Nelsen. “Demanding that a young child say he is sorry is just silly. He may say it, but he won’t mean it, so what has he learned other than that he should lie to get approval from others?”

The Fix: Decide what lesson you’d like your child to learn and then ask questions aimed at teaching it: “What happened? How do you think it made your sister feel? How would you feel? What could you do to make it better?” Such questions help to teach empathy and problem-solving skills. “You want to draw out information, rather than stuff it in,” explains Nelsen. “We want to teach children not what to think, but how to think.”

Encourage Amends

You walk into the bathroom to find your 3-year-old elbow-deep in a water-filled sink, faucet running, a steady stream spilling onto the floor. Exasperated, you send her to the time-out chair while you mop up the mess she’s created.

The Problem: While time-out can be a useful cool-off period (for you and your child), experts agree it’s not a particularly effective stand-alone discipline technique. “Time-out doesn’t teach anything,” says Nelsen. “And with discipline, we should always be asking ourselves, ‘What am I teaching my child?'”

The Fix: Enlist your child’s help to mop the floor. “When you encourage your child to make amends, you help him or her feel competent,” agrees Clarke. With a younger child, you may need to suggest appropriate amends: “You’ve spilled water. Let’s get a towel and clean it up.” Three- and 4-year-olds can begin to suggest their own ideas for making amends. You might ask, “What shall we use to clean this up?” By allowing your child to help right her wrongs, you’ll be providing her with critical opportunities to build character and a sense of responsibility.

Make Negatives Positive

Lately your 30-month-old has been testing her independence (and your patience), and you feel like a broken (and decidedly downbeat) record: “No standing on the coffee table! No throwing your food on the floor! No pouring water into Mommy’s laptop!”

The Problem: Uttering a constant chorus of no’s is discouraging for you and your child. Plus, if your child hears no too often, she’ll start to tune it out (regardless of how loudly you say it), just as people who live close to airports grow oblivious to the roar of low-flying jets.

The Fix: Set limits with positives, urges Walsh. “There are a million ways to say no without ever using the word,” he says. Instead of “No jumping on the couch,” try “Both feet on the floor.” Instead of “No, you can’t clean your toys with the watering can,” try, “Let’s water the plants instead!” By correcting with a positive, you convey the belief that your child is capable of behaving, giving her confidence and incentive to meet your expectations. And if your child doesn’t hear you constantly saying no, perhaps she’ll use the word less herself — or maybe that’s wishful thinking!

Catch ‘Em in the Act (of Being Good)
Your 13-month-old finishes eating her peaches and doesn’t throw her spoon on the floor. Your 20-month-old colors on the paper rather than on the table. Your 3-year-old shares his trains nicely with a visiting friend.

The Problem: No problems here — unless you allow these golden moments to go unmentioned. Kids repeat things that get them attention — for better or worse. If you harp on the bad and ignore the good, then your child will conclude that misbehavior is his ticket to the limelight.

The Fix: Praise behaviors you’d like to see again. “It’s much better to let kids know what they’re doing right. Don’t be hypervigilant to find the negatives,” advises Jeffrey Bernstein, PhD, author of 10 Days to a Less Defiant Child (Marlowe & Company). “Dwell on the positives, and that’s what you’ll see more of. The most powerful thing you can do to encourage appropriate behavior is to reward appropriate behavior.”

Time Out for Parents

While our experts agree that time-outs are not the most constructive discipline tool for kids, they are unanimous in thinking they are a great idea for moms. If you’re feeling frazzled, make sure your child is someplace safe — in her crib, playpen, or room — and give yourself five or 10 minutes to leaf through a catalog, sip a cup of tea, or do some stretching or breathing exercises. “Self-care is so important because you can’t make objective decisions if you’re fried,” cautions Philadelphia family therapist Jeffrey Bernstein, PhD. “If you’re burnt out or overly stressed, you’re not going to be able to discipline effectively.”

Striking the Right Balance

You always swore you’d discipline differently than your pushover mother or relentlessly rigid father. So why do you feel as if you’re channeling your parents every time your child pushes your buttons? Breaking old patterns takes conscious effort, but it’s worth trying, especially if yelling, spanking, or turning a blind eye is your default response to misbehavior. Begin by asking yourself:

* Am I disciplining in a way that helps my child’s self-esteem?
Yelling and put-downs demoralize a child. “It’s important to speak, even to babies, in a respectful tone, using respectful words,” stresses Philadelphia psychologist and family therapist Jeffrey Bernstein, PhD. You want to discourage your child’s bad choices, not your child herself.

* Is my discipline style helping my child to develop self-control?
Here’s where both overly permissive and harshly authoritarian styles falter. If you never say no to your child, you never teach him to say no to himself, warns psychologist David Walsh, PhD. “Permissive parenting doesn’t teach self-discipline, yet self-discipline is twice as strong a predictor of success in school as intelligence,” he says. “When we don’t say no to our kids, we are really handicapping them for later in life.”

But, ironically, overly authoritarian parenting also keeps children from learning how to function within limits. Kids who are given no control never learn self-control; kids who are tightly micromanaged never learn how to make their own decisions. “The authoritarian style hinders kids from being able to exercise some of these self-management muscles,” observes Walsh.

So how do you strike the right balance? By setting clearly defined rules and expectations for your children — and having the self-discipline to consistently enforce them with reasonable consequences intended to teach, not punish.

 

All content on this Web site, including medical opinion and any other health-related information, is for informational purposes only and should not be considered to be a specific diagnosis or treatment plan for any individual situation. Use of this site and the information contained herein does not create a doctor-patient relationship. Always seek the direct advice of your own doctor in connection with any questions or issues you may have regarding your own health or the health of others.

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parents
http://www.parents.comBringing together the power of respected magazine brands including American Baby and Parents, the Parents Network is your go-to destination for parenting information. From first kicks to first steps and on to the first day of school, we are here to help you celebrate the joys and navigate the challenges of parenthood.

20 Commandments of Toddler Discipline

2 May

With an active toddler who’s more aggressive and physically active than her older sister was at the same age, raising Stella is much different from Julia.  So this list of 20 Commandments from Parents.Com served as a great list of reminders and tips for my wife and me.  Therefore I wanted to share it in my blog.

The 20 Commandments of Toddler Discipline

It’s a sin to let your child off the hook just because you think she’s too young to understand rules and consequences.

By Ari Brown, MD, and Denise Fields

Parents

First 10 Commandments

Children aren’t born with social skills — it’s human nature for them to start out with a survival-of-the-fittest mentality. That’s why you need to teach your toddler how to act appropriately and safely — when you’re around and when you’re not. In a nutshell, your job is to implant a “good citizen” memory chip in her brain (Freud called this the superego) that will remind her how she’s supposed to behave. It’s a bit like breaking a wild horse, but you won’t break your child’s spirit if you do it correctly. The seeds of discipline that you plant now will blossom later, and you’ll be very thankful for the fruits of your labor. (Just don’t expect a tree to grow overnight.) Here are the commandments you should commit to memory.

  1. Expect rough spots. Certain situations and times of the day tend to trigger bad behavior. Prime suspect number 1: transitions from one activity to the next (waking up, going to bed, stopping play to eat dinner). Give your child a heads-up so he’s more prepared to switch gears (“After you build one more block tower, we will be having dinner”).
  2. Pick your battles. If you say no 20 times a day, it will lose its effectiveness. Prioritize behaviors into large, medium, and those too insignificant to bother with. In Starbucks terms, there are Venti, Grande, and Tall toddler screwups. If you ignore a minor infraction — your toddler screams whenever you check your e-mail — she’ll eventually stop doing it because she’ll see that it doesn’t get a rise out of you.
  3. Use a prevent defense. Sorry for the football cliche, but this one is easy. Make your house kid-friendly, and have reasonable expectations. If you clear your Swarovski crystal collection off the end table, your child won’t be tempted to fling it at the TV set. If you’re taking your family out to dinner, go early so you won’t have to wait for a table.
  4. Make your statements short and sweet. Speak in brief sentences, such as “No hitting.” This is much more effective than “Chaz, you know it’s not nice to hit the dog.” You’ll lose Chaz right after “you know.”
  5. Distract and redirect. Obviously, you do this all day. But when you try to get your child interested in a different activity, she’ll invariably go back to what she was doing — just to see whether she can get away with it. Don’t give up. Even if your child unrolls the entire toilet-paper roll for the 10th time today, calmly remove her from the bathroom and close the door.
  6. Introduce consequences. Your child should learn the natural outcomes of his behavior — otherwise known as cause and effect. For example, if he loudly insists on selecting his pajamas (which takes an eternity), then he’s also choosing not to read books before bed. Cause: Prolonged pj-picking = Effect: No time to read. Next time, he may choose his pj’s more quickly or let you pick them out.
  7. Don’t back down to avoid conflict. We all hate to be the party pooper, but you shouldn’t give in just to escape a showdown at the grocery store. If you decide that your child can’t have the cereal that she saw on TV, stick to your guns. Later, you’ll be happy you did.
  8. Anticipate bids for attention. Yes, your little angel will act up when your attention is diverted (making dinner, talking on the phone). That’s why it’s essential to provide some entertainment (a favorite toy, a quick snack). True story: My son once ate dog food while I was on the phone with a patient. Take-home lesson: If you don’t provide something for your toddler to do when you’re busy, she’ll find something — and the results may not be pretty.
  9. Focus on the behavior, not the child. Always say that a particular behavior is bad. Never tell your child that he is bad. You want him to know that you love him, but you don’t love the way he’s acting right now.
  10. Give your child choices. This will make her feel as if she’s got a vote. Just make sure you don’t offer too many options and that they’re all things that you want to accomplish, such as, “It’s your choice: You can put your shoes on first, or your coat.” 

11. Don’t yell. But change your voice. It’s not the volume, but your tone that gets your point across. Remember The Godfather? Don Corleone never needed to yell.

12. Catch your child being good. If you praise your child when he behaves well, he’ll do it more often — and he’ll be less likely to behave badly just to get your attention. Positive reinforcement is fertilizer for that superego.

13. Act immediately. Don’t wait to discipline your toddler. She won’t remember why she’s in trouble more than five minutes after she did the dirty deed.

14. Be a good role model. If you’re calm under pressure, your child will take the cue. And if you have a temper tantrum when you’re upset, expect that he’ll do the same. He’s watching you, always watching.

15. Don’t treat your child as if she’s an adult. She really doesn’t want to hear a lecture from you — and won’t be able to understand it. The next time she throws her spaghetti, don’t break into the “You Can’t Throw Your Food” lecture. Calmly evict her from the kitchen for the night.

16. Use time-outs — even at this age. Call it the naughty chair or whatever you like, but take your child away from playing and don’t pay attention to him for one minute for each year of age. Depriving him of your attention is the most effective way to get your message across. Realistically, kids under 2 won’t sit in a corner or on a chair — and it’s fine for them to be on the floor kicking and screaming. (Just make sure the time-out location is a safe one.) Reserve time-outs for particularly inappropriate behaviors — if your child bites his friend’s arm, for example — and use a time-out every time the offense occurs.

17. Don’t negotiate with your child or make promises. This isn’t Capitol Hill. Try to avoid saying anything like, “If you behave, I’ll buy you that doll you want.” Otherwise, you’ll create a 3-year-old whose good behavior will always come with a price tag. (Think Veruca Salt from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.)

18. Shift your strategies over time. What worked beautifully when your child was 15 months probably isn’t going to work when he’s 2. He’ll have read your playbooks and watched the films.

19. Don’t spank. Although you may be tempted at times, remember that you are the grown-up. Don’t resort to acting like a child. There are many more effective ways of getting your message across. Spanking your child for hitting or kicking you, for example, just shows him that it’s okay to use force. Finally, if your toddler is pushing your buttons for the umpteenth time and you think you’re about to lose it, try to take a step back. You’ll get a better idea of which manipulative behaviors your child is using and you’ll get a fresh perspective on how to change your approach.

20. Remind your child that you love her. It’s always good to end a discipline discussion with a positive comment. This shows your child that you’re ready to move on and not dwell on the problem. It also reinforces the reason you’re setting limits — because you love her.

From Toddler 411: Clear Answers & Smart Advice For Your Toddler, by Ari Brown, MD, and Denise Fields © 2006 Ari Brown, MD, and Denise Fields (Windsor Peak Press). For more information, go to toddler411.com.

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parents
http://www.parents.comBringing together the power of respected magazine brands including American Baby and Parents, the Parents Network is your go-to destination for parenting information. From first kicks to first steps and on to the first day of school, we are here to help you celebrate the joys and navigate the challenges of parenthood.