A New Approach to Childhood Discipline

Many educational practices are based on incentives and consequences that are all tied to a desired behavior. Why is my child misbehaving? She is not sufficiently motivated to follow the rules. Strategies such as timeouts, counting to three, sticker charts, privilege gain and loss emphasize obedience with adult commands and rely on power to achieve one’s goals.

But, is there a better option to remedy misbehavior? How about shifting away from power and move towards collaboration as the primary means by which a parent can ultimately better influence kids? Giving kids a voice on their own affairs and the necessary tools to solve problems that affects their life is a much better way to prepare a child for the real world.

Parents worry about losing a sense of control and authority if they shift from power to collaboration, however parents fail to recognize that control is simply an illusion. No parent has any total control over their child’s outcome. The best you can aim for is influence. Parents have a lot of influence and their voices have a greater likelihood of being heard when they learn to listen to their kids and involve them in finding solutions to problems that affect their lives. What about expectations? Yes, it’s impossible to parent without expectations. The issue lies when your child is having difficulty meeting a specific expectation. How can a parent or caregiver solve a problem in a cooperative manner? Dr. Ross W. Greene, author of Raising Human Beings outlines his environmentally focused method to remedy misbehavior: Continue reading

How to deal with the “Terrible Twos”

Is your baby’s second birthday coming up? Then you know that the “terrible twos” stage is approaching. Since it can hit at 18 months or at 34 months, it’s less of an age and more of a stage of development -so you may be dealing with it when you least expect it.

But is it as dreadful as everyone says? It all depends on how you handle it!

Two-year-olds are just realizing that they are separated entities from their parents, which means they will be determined to define themselves, test their limits, communicate their likes and dislikes (as much as they can), and act independently.

The downside is that toddlers are just developing their skills, so they won’t be able to accomplish everything they want to do and that is frustrating. At this age, your little one will have a hard time expressing his feelings and controlling his emotional impulses, so his anger and frustration will tend to erupt abruptly in the form of crying, hitting, or screaming. During this period your little one will need your patience, as well as loving guidance to help him navigate through the rush of emotions he will experience.

When you see a challenging behavior, it usually means that your child can’t figure out how to express his feelings in an adequate way or doesn’t know how to get his desires met. To cope with challenging behavior, your response should show a beneficial way to handle his feelings.

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Affection or discipline? What children need for their healthy development

If there was a parent guide on what to say or how to act in each situation, being a parent would be another daily task, and a very simple one for that matter. However, each person is unique, so you’ll surely realize that what works with one child doesn’t work with another. In addition, life is unexpected and the future impossible to control. We are transformed by the different experiences we live through life. Many of these are good, but there are also negative ones that cannot be avoided, and that have an effect in our human development.

In addition, different factors such as family, economic situation and personality of the child, affect how our children react, act, feel, and think in different scenarios. For parents, sometimes it can be extremely difficult to make decisions about raising their children. In fact, some people say that parenting is one of the most difficult tasks, as there are many factors in play that can’t always be controlled. However, experts have found that parenting styles have a strong impact on the development of a child. According to several studies, parents contribute and help shape a child’s behavior, personality, self-esteem, and psychology. In fact, it has been found that children’s development, either positive or negative, depends in part on the parenting style adopted by their parents.

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The Benefits of Boredom

When pre-school kids and toddlers complain that they’re bored, parents often try to relieve their boredom right away. They feel responsible when they hear that word and some try to provide technological entertainment to solve the “problem”. But perhaps they are rushing in to help too quickly. What would happen if parents were to leave their children be bored every now and then? Would it affect their development?

Coping with boredom can be a real challenge for young children and their parents. It may be tempting to fill every second of the day with activities. And even though classes such as art, sports, or music can certainly benefit a child’s development, children also need time for themselves. A time to rest their minds, to daydream and discover what truly interests them.

“If parents spend all their time filling up their child’s spare time, then the child’s never going to learn to do this by himself […] children need to learn how to be bored in order to motivate themselves to get things done. Being bored is a way to make children self-reliant”, says Lyn Fry, a child psychologist in London with a focus on education.

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