One sure way of preventing your child from doing something wrong or inappropriate is to establish rules around the house. Simple rules like washing your hands before sitting at the table or brushing your teeth before going to bed will help set good habits. These routines, when adopted, will help a young child retain these good habits as they grow.
Explain Their Importance
If your child can already understand, explain to him why certain rules are made in the house. Explain why it is important, for example, to eat vegetables: because their body needs all kinds of nutrients to get more energy, nutrients that meat can’t provide alone. Offer further explanation if your child asks, even if he demands it, be calm and firm.
Give Fair Warning
When your rules are challenged by the little one, don’t immediately lash out with disciplinary actions. Instead, give fair warning and conditions. Firmly state why certain actions should or should not be done and offer fair warning to comply and state the consequences that will follow if he doesn’t.
When rules are broken there are consequences. In the adult world, crimes are met by a variety of punishments depending on the severity. When disciplining a child, instead of using punishment as a consequence use deprivation instead. For example, when your child refuses to put away his toys after being told several times, and with warnings, take away his tv rights. The consequence will be no screen time for the afternoon (or entire day, depending on his attitude) or until he has decided to put away the toys.
Use Positive Reinforcement
Children, especially toddlers, are sensitive to the opinion of their parents. For every time that they are scolded they tend to feel somewhat bad and may when repeatedly told of their mistakes, come to believe that they are indeed naughty. Instead of focusing on the mistakes and scolding your child, praise him when he does something right. A study suggests children tend to repeat something when they get positive reactions to it. To encourage your child to repeat something, like putting his dirty dishes in the sink, acknowledge and praise him for it.
Every child is different, but all children respond better to positive disciplinary methods. Choosing to discipline your child without hitting, spanking and yelling take some effort and patience. On the other hand, in the long run, positive discipline creates a healthy-minded child who has developed good habits and has no grudge against you.
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