Development

Disciplining your child

Disciplining your child may come as a challenge, but there are ways to make it easier and less stressful.

Parenting expert Sheila O’Malley offers some sound advice.

In working with parents, I can see that most of the time when a child is behaving badly, they feel bad in themselves. It can be that they need more time and attention from the parent, and they have found a way to get attention, through their behaviour. Sadly, a child’s misbehaviour may be the only way they feel they can get their parents’ attention. This discover this and in their eyes, negative attention is better than no attention.

Respect always

There should be only one rule in a family house – R E S P E C T. However, the parent need not demand respect from the child; rather they simply need to demonstrate and teach it. Have as few rules as possible; and then ensure that you SAY IT, MEAN IT, DO IT.

Role modelling

Parents do not realise how important their behaviour is in being a role model for their children. If I roar “Be quiet!”; all I am teaching my children is that when angry and frustrated, that it is acceptable to raise my voice and ‘lose it’ with another person.

Stay calm

I need to be in charge of my behaviour, in order for my children to be in charge of theirs. Take an action for yourself; not against the child. When I feel I have gone from zero to ten, I need to take responsibility for my behaviour and ask myself:
“What is it I need to do for myself?”
Actions for yourself may be:

Deep breathing.
Count to ten.
Make a cup of tea and mind yourself until you calm down.
Leave the room for a moment.
Ask your partner to take over, so you can have time out.
Stay separate to the child’s behaviour and do not personalise it.
Stay calm.
When your children see you take charge of yourself, stay in charge of your behaviour, it shows them how to do that for themselves.

Acknowledge the feeling

Here are some examples:

“I know you’d like to stay on in the park longer, I see you like it here. But time is up for today, now we must go.”

“It’s hard to get up this morning, it’s nice to be in bed, would you like to get up now or have an extra five minutes?”

When they feel right, they will behave in positive ways

If you see that a child who is troubled or troubling is not out to make your life difficult, rather they are trying to show you how difficult life is for them, then does it not make sense that the best response is showing kindness to them. “I love you, but I cannot accept this behaviour” is the best response as “you’re bold” simply makes the child feel they are bad, and their troubling behaviour will escalate until someone sees their distress.

When you calm down, I can talk to you

This is a boundary around how the parent allows the child to behave towards them. Remember, no one disrespects me unless I allow them to. Therefore, regardless of age, ensure your children know you are not available for aggressive behaviour or insults from a teenager by telling them “I am not available for shouting; when you calm down, I can talk to you.” It is good to set a boundary around how to respond to anger or upset and therefore telling your child to ‘Say it in words; not actions” teaches them to come to you with their distress.

More like this:

Managing sibling rivalry
Raising boys
Shouting to be heard

ASK LOUISE

Q My son is 18 months old and has just started saying his first words. It is an extremely exciting time in our house and my husband and I are eager to encourage his speaking as much possible. What advice would you give us on how we can foster this without bombarding and confusing him?

AThere is nothing better than hearing your baby begin to talk. All the hard work you have put in over the last two years is coming back tenfold.
Toddlers will vary significantly with ability and speed of which they talk however a guide would be about 50 words by 2 years of age. The most important thing to watch for is that your baby/toddler is cooing and babbling and begins to string sounds together like “Mama/Dada” They should have a wide range of speech sounds and like to imitate you and things they hear.
There are many ways that you can promote Speech and Language development at home:
1. Slowing down your own speech and taking time over conversations with your little one. Every day is a new experience when you are 18 months, nappy changes, bath time, baking a cake brings endless opportunity for you to interact and offer new words for them to hear and repeat. Make eye contact, smile and use exaggerated tones to keep things interesting and fun for your tot.
2. Review the toys that you have on offer to your tot and ensure that they give plenty of open ended play opportunities. Role play is a wonderful way to allow children to take the lead. Kitchens with lots of plates, cups and pots. Fill the pots with dry pasta and allow your child to cook and serve you. Playdoh, painting, gardening and sandpits are also great for allowing your child to take the lead and babble about what they are doing. Read plenty of books together and point and allow them time to answer any questions that you ask.
3. Limit screen time. Overuse of televisions and iPads do not give your child opportunity to interact in a two way manner.
4. Ask your child lots of open ended questions “What’s that?” “Where are we?” Point at things they know the answer to for boosting confidence (Car/ Car, etc.) When they don’t know the answer, explain it to them. Limit baby talk and speak clearly with good pronunciation, remember you are the teacher and they will copy you.
If you are concerned about your child’s speech and language development, be sure to speak with your GP or developmental Health Nurse. They are very skilled at understanding the difference between speech delays and spotting something that may require professional attention.
Enjoy watching their little brains absorb the world around them and listen to what they have to say. It won’t be too long before they won’t stop talking to you, asking “Why Mummy/ Daddy?” every 5 minutes….

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

Toilet training

Top tips and real mum advice on toilet training for your child.

MUST READ

ASK LOUISE

Q My son is 18 months old and has just started saying his first words. It is an extremely exciting time in our house and my husband and I are eager to encourage his speaking as much possible. What advice would you give us on how we can foster this without bombarding and confusing him?

AThere is nothing better than hearing your baby begin to talk. All the hard work you have put in over the last two years is coming back tenfold.
Toddlers will vary significantly with ability and speed of which they talk however a guide would be about 50 words by 2 years of age. The most important thing to watch for is that your baby/toddler is cooing and babbling and begins to string sounds together like “Mama/Dada” They should have a wide range of speech sounds and like to imitate you and things they hear.
There are many ways that you can promote Speech and Language development at home:
1. Slowing down your own speech and taking time over conversations with your little one. Every day is a new experience when you are 18 months, nappy changes, bath time, baking a cake brings endless opportunity for you to interact and offer new words for them to hear and repeat. Make eye contact, smile and use exaggerated tones to keep things interesting and fun for your tot.
2. Review the toys that you have on offer to your tot and ensure that they give plenty of open ended play opportunities. Role play is a wonderful way to allow children to take the lead. Kitchens with lots of plates, cups and pots. Fill the pots with dry pasta and allow your child to cook and serve you. Playdoh, painting, gardening and sandpits are also great for allowing your child to take the lead and babble about what they are doing. Read plenty of books together and point and allow them time to answer any questions that you ask.
3. Limit screen time. Overuse of televisions and iPads do not give your child opportunity to interact in a two way manner.
4. Ask your child lots of open ended questions “What’s that?” “Where are we?” Point at things they know the answer to for boosting confidence (Car/ Car, etc.) When they don’t know the answer, explain it to them. Limit baby talk and speak clearly with good pronunciation, remember you are the teacher and they will copy you.
If you are concerned about your child’s speech and language development, be sure to speak with your GP or developmental Health Nurse. They are very skilled at understanding the difference between speech delays and spotting something that may require professional attention.
Enjoy watching their little brains absorb the world around them and listen to what they have to say. It won’t be too long before they won’t stop talking to you, asking “Why Mummy/ Daddy?” every 5 minutes….