Effective Steps to Take for Less Than Desired Behavior, AKA Discipline:

This is the time that I haven’t been exactly looking forward to, having to learn effective ways of disciplining my child. How do you go about getting the desired effect to correct their behavior in an appropriate way? I want to personally behave consistently in the actions that I take to curb the temper tantrums, not listening and less than ideal behavior. As communication at this point is difficult until she is able to understand everything that her mother and I say, we can at least begin practicing.

Communicate with Your Spouse on How to Discipline: This is the first step, hopefully long before you have to start disciplining so that you are both on the same page and don’t contradict one another when that time comes. Doing this is also healthy for your marriage and that you each understand each other clearly and don’t end up with a conflict with each other. Set your plan on setting boundaries and giving your child structure.

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It isn’t a Negotiation: “The word discipline is rooted in meanings of learning and teaching.” Even before discipline occurs, make it as clear as you can what is and is not acceptable behavior and the consequences for breaking the rules, the trust. Discipline is a teachable moment for both your child and yourself. Have an understanding of the rules and that your child has a choice and begins to understand expected behavior. Remain steadfast, consistent and don’t deviate from the consequences accordingly for the offense. This will also teach your child part of being personally accountable for their actions. It’s also good to keep in mind to give praise for positive behaviors.

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Use Your Words and Stay Calm: I remember when I was young and my mother would say, “Wait until your father gets home.” Just the thought of what he might do struck fear into me, but what I remember most is how calm he was and how he spoke to me to ensure I understood that my actions were not acceptable. No matter how mad you may be, it is important to remain calm and make sure your child sees and understands this. If appropriate, “it’s best to wait until the heat of the moment has passed.” I believe that it is also absolutely necessary to keep it private.

These simple steps also serve their purpose in the workplace when you think about it. At work there is a code of conduct followed with consequences for breaking them. You have a clear understanding with the intent to provide a healthy environment in which to work. Although not always true, but a good rule to follow is to remain calm and assess the situation in a deliberate and calculated view and should always be done privately.

What are your thoughts on discipline? I would like to hear your effective and positive ways of dealing with poor behavior.

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