written by Suzy
In many areas of life, the most direct way to something is likely the quickest, but it's not always the most effective. In certain cases, it's not the safest either – an action characterized by violence, neglect or manipulation can bring unwelcome, or even damaging, results. For many parents, this principle is incredibly important when raising children authentically and with respect for their individual growth.
However, the path of least resistance is not always a smooth path to follow, especially when it comes to discipline. Learn some ways to keep the balance between acceptable behavior and a freedom to explore without harming your children physically or emotionally.
Focusing on Cause Instead of Effect
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An excellent parenting tip is this: always remember that a child's actions can be traced back to a specific cause or feeling. Hunger, jealousy, frustration, imitation and illness are all factors that can lead a toddler or older child to act out, bite or yell. Often, a loud reaction will only encourage your child to repeat the behavior, since your yell is evidence that their actions are indeed powerful. Instead, use plain, clear language and short sentences along with loving, physical contact to prevent future incidents more effectively. If the incident is repeated, be consistent in your approach and your language, and be sure to lead by example.
Redirect and Resolve
One way to deter unwanted behavior is to offer another satisfying action in its place. If your child likes to tear books, replace the book in their hand with an old magazine; if they like to bite, be alert to what brings on the urge to bite and distract with another activity like playing with a favorite toy or even the light switch on the wall. Acting swiftly and consistently will avoid any upsetting conflicts and can modify patterns of behavior more naturally.
Resolution comes when children are content with themselves and their surroundings. This means that you should attune yourself to their emotional needs: stay close, connected and affectionate to provide them with the comfort and attention they want. If you are aggressive, you are teaching them that it's alright to be aggressive, which will only prolong the behavior. When you abandon a controlling method of parenting for a more trusting approach, you may find that you'll learn as much from your child as they learn from you.
As sure as you need to be patient when dealing with your pregnancy symptoms, you need to be patient with your children. Happy parenting!
This article was written by Suzy from SureBaby.com. Suzy has been writing about pregnancy and parenting for years, and loves to contribute her knowledge to others.