We have covered five principles of good discipline.
Give children safe limits they can understand. Recognize their feelings without accepting their actions. Maintain your authority calmly and consistently.
Children see the world differently from adults. Rules and safety precautions that may be obvious to adults need to be stated and explained clearly and simply to children. Be sure children know your expectations for their behavior. It is inappropriate to scold for a violation of rules they did not understand. When adults become frightened when they see children are in danger, they often scold. Try saying (without hiding your emotion), “I was so frightened when I saw you had a knife that could hurt you.”
· Timothy (age 3) is happily pouring mild onto his dinner plate. “Timothy, milk stays in your cup or in a pitcher. When your cup is empty, you may pour some more. But you may not pour it over your dinner. (Remove milk if Timmy persists)
Parents often bypass little rules during mealtimes. The concern for getting enough food into a child over-rides the concern for good behavior. Children are quick to pick up the subtle change in the enforcement or lack of enforcement of rules just as they pick up the difference in enforcement in rules between moms and dads. In the long run, a few missed meals or desserts or treats will not contribute to malnourishment. However, inconsistency in following rules contributes to additional testing of the limits.
· Claudia (age 2) has pushed a chair close to the stove to see what is bubbling is in all those pots. “NO, you must never do that. You might get badly burned by the stove.” This is a very appropriate use of a loud “NO,” however, a better word may be ‘’STOP.”
It is best to limit the use of “no” or “stop” to safety issues. In this way young children learn to pay attention to those words and your tone of voice. Using “no” every single time you wish to guide a child to a more appropriate behavior will lead to children ignoring your words.
In 2085, a time capsule will be opened in Ladysmith that contains stories of the lives of today’s Rusk County residents. Wouldn’t it be a thrill for your great-great-great-great grandchildren to be given a sealed package with your words and pictures straight out of the time capsule? Visit the Visitor’s Center in Ladysmith for a page of details on how to submit information. You have wonderful stories to tell, but what you don’t have is time! The time capsule submissions are due June 18th! What do you hope and dream for the future?
Twinkletime Rhymes to Print