Do you spank your children? Is it working? Consequences do not need to be physically hurtful, demeaning, humiliating, or full of nagging and scolding. The trick is to reward positive behavior and have established consequences for poor behavior. Remain calm and remember you are the role model and example of good behavior. Three questions to ask when delivering a consequence are:
- Is it justified?
- Is it respectful?
- Is it reasonable?
TIPS ON CONSEQUENCES
Together discuss and establish rules and consequences before undesirable behavior occurs and tempers are out of control. Here are some tips:
- Clearly and simply state expectations according to your child's ability to understand.
- Briefly give the reason behind your expectation.This will teach children to think logically.
- Make consequences reasonable, respectful, predictable, consistent and reliable.
- If a child ignores an expectation, briefly state the consequence. Younger children may need a reminder before you enforce a consequence. However, if that warning is purposefully ignored, immediately follow through with the consequence and stick to it.
- If you want children to listen to you the first time, then you must follow through on expected consequences, each and every time.
Don’t set consequences you won’t keep or make ridiculous threats you have no intention of enforcing. That is why it is important to have already thought-through consequences. Do not feel guilty about enforcing a consequence. The child made the wrong choice. You may want to use empathy, such as acknowledging that you realize the child has had an important privilege taken away, but the next time they will know that you mean what you say and follow through every time.
Too much has already gone wrong if you slap or spank a child. Prevention, good role modeling, praise, and established rules and consequences will lessen the need for consequences. You may be interested in my post Caught Being Good.
You can visit Susan at her blog Kindergarten & Preschool for Parents & Teachers. For a glimpse into Kindergarten, see her book: Kindergarten: Tattle-Tales, Tools, Tactics, Triumphs and Tasty Treats for Teachers and Parents. Now available in print on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Also available for Kindle and soon for the Nook: The Happy Mommy Handbook: The Ultimate How-to Guide on Keeping Your Toddlers and Preschoolers Busy, Out of Trouble and Motivated to Learn.
TIPS FOR INCREASING GOOD BEHAVIOR
- Limit time children spend in front of electronic gadgets. Real back-and-forth communication and interaction is necessary for growth in vocabulary, expression, comprehension and social skills. Pre-approve electronic games or tv shows checking for violence, disrespectful attitudes, or words and actions that you do not want your child to imitate.
- Allow children to experience logical consequences. They will become better prepared to make the right choices when you are not around.
- Structure the environment to support appropriate behavior. Young children need action. They need time for hard physical play to release stress, learn social skills, develop motor skills, and to just be a kid. Children learn from using blocks, paint, crayons, scissors, glue, playdough, water, sand, puzzles, swings, and natural outdoor materials. Young children need activities that are just right for their age. The goal is for children to accomplish what they can do. Hands-on discovery through using the five senses enhances the joy and meaning of learning and extends the learning time.
- Treat children with unconditional love. It is the behavior that is unacceptable—the child is loved no matter what has happened.
Parents are the most important people in a young child's life. Be a model of good behavior to help them grow into respectful, happy, creative, contributing members of our society.