Parents want their children to behave, be nice to everyone, learn from their mistakes and follow every command that they are given. In short, they want to have their toddlers disciplined. But what is effective discipline? Child Care centres in Singapore say that even though people equate discipline with punishment, thinking that it can curb the child, it doesn’t work in the long run.
So let’s look at the some of the Dos and Don’ts of disciplining children:
Toddlers demand a lot of attention from their parents, and a little effort put in spending quality time with the child can go a long way in developing good behavior. Life is hectic for everyone and finding spare time in a day or a week can be painstaking.
However, a few minutes spent regularly with a little one – playing, reading a book, talking, doing what he/she loves without being distracted by work or cell phones – is a long-term investment in improving the child’s habits and attitude.
Small children cannot remember too many instructions altogether. In order to build habits, parents must make certain tasks incorporated into their children’s routine. Like, tidying the room and gathering toys, not being too rough or loud during games, saying “sorry” and “thank you”, coming to eat at fixed meal times etc. Each of these habits needs to be followed-through even in their child care centres, with consistency, or else the training or practice becomes futile.
It is indeed difficult not to lose one’s temper when faced with a child who is brawling, jumping or running around or not obeying orders for the millionth time. But raising your voice, beating or lecturing do not work as punishments. Instead, these actions send negative messages across about the parent, encouraging the child to indulge in the offensive behavior again. It is necessary for the parent to get down to the child’s eye level and calmly tell him/her what is expected, albeit in short, simple phrases. Similarly, parents should not forget to show appreciation to the child whenever he/she does something praiseworthy. A little “thank you”, “that’s nice”, “I like it”, or “well done” can go a long way in boosting the child’s spirits, encouraging him/her to follow instructions more often than not.