Most parents have had to make the difficult decision at some point in time to punish their child for unwanted behaviour. They’ve also had to decide on a consequence that is suitable for the behaviour and their child’s age, then had to try to remain strong through the resulting upset caused by the punishment.
Punishment is unpleasant for the whole family. It is stressful for parents, sometimes confusing for the child on the receiving end, and often distressing for siblings and other witnesses. Even the gentlest punishments can be difficult to enforce sometimes.
We know that some behaviours require immediate intervention to prevent them from continuing, and for some children a punishment such as quiet time is very effective. However we much prefer to put some preventative measures in place, and reduce the likelihood of parents needing to punish their children.
Boundaries and Expectations
A child who is secure in the knowledge that their parent is in control and has laid down some simple ground rules is going to be happier to stay within their boundaries. Children like having rules, it creates a sense of security and reduces their need to test the boundaries to see where they are and what they can get away with.
A happy child is more likely to behave in a way that they know will please you. Often if a child receives multiple punishments they can develop an unpleasant attitude and things will get worse instead of better. Notice and comment on things they do well, and try to let a few little unwanted behaviours slide without a reaction.
If you have the same routine each morning before your daily activities start your child will know what to expect, and will put up less resistance to the necessary chores. Help them through the routine by asking them to complete one chore at a time rather than overwhelming them with an entire list of what needs to be done.
Our preventatives can take a couple of weeks to implement successfully, any change can take time for adults and children to adjust to. Patience and persistence are the key to putting your preventative measures in place, and soon you will see a difference in the way your child reacts to everyday situations.