Thank-you for staying with me as we explored the Seven Principles of Discipline. Let’s review the previous 6 principles before ending with our last, and most important one.
1. Tell children what they can do instead of what they can’t do. Focus on do, not don’t. If our language is overloaded with negative words (no, don’t, stop it, quit it, cut it out, shut up), our children may decide we are not very interesting to listen to and tune us out.
2. Protect and preserve children’s feelings that they are lovable and capable. We refer to a person’s feelings of being lovable and capable as an IALAC (I Am Lovable And Capable). An IALAC is your self-esteem. No one can see it, but it is an important part of the person you are. People need big, strong IALACs if they are to love and to be loved, and if they are to feel good about their capacity to learn and to function well in the world.
3. Offer children choices only when you are willing to abide by their decisions.It is important to offer our children choices. Children feel empowered and important when they are allowed.
4. Change the environment instead of the child’s behavior. Occasionally, adult/child conflicts arise because some part of the environment is inappropriate for young children, or because adults expect more control or mature behavior than children can achieve.
5. Work with children instead of against them. When we refinish furniture we are told to rub with the grain. Perhaps we should also work ‘with the grain’ of the child, standing back and observing children and then figuring out with their help mutually acceptable ways for them to do what it is they are trying to do.
6. Give children safe limits they can understand. Recognize their feelings without accepting their actions. Maintain your authority calmly and consistently.
Speak and act only in the ways you want children to speak and act. Discipline comes from the word disciple, which means to follow. Children become socialized in our culture by following our example. The importance of parents as models for children cannot be overstated.
Twinkletime Rhymes to Print