Working out effective ways to discipline your child can be nerve racking. Here we have complied a list of 10 ideas that may help you in the future.
- Time In: If you’ve found that “time outs” aren’t working, perhaps try the opposite. A “time in” can be accomplished by sending your child to a designated area and not allowing them to leave until they’ve completed a certain task. It could be something like a small jigsaw puzzle, or sorting out blocks into colours, stringing macaroni onto a piece of yarn, or tracing out the alphabet. Diversion of energy can often make the child forget their negative reaction by focusing on something positive. Once the deed is complete, they can leave the area.
- “Don’t Smile!”: I have seen this work on countless children; they’re pouting, crying, or in the midsts of a tantrum, and you look at them and dare them not to smile. Of course what ensues is a giant smile, perhaps even a giggle or two. This uplifts the mood of both the child and the adult carrying out the discipline.
- Messy Kids: Set the toy somewhere out of reach but within sight for a predetermined number of days. This increases the impact of the temper correction by keeping the forbidden toy fresh in their minds. You could also put it in “gaol” so that your child can get it back on completion of a chore; maybe tidying up for example.
- “Hold your tongue!”: But not metaphorically; physically. Once again this can create an hysterical situation when your child tries to talk with they fingers holding their tongue. Laughing is always a good way to end a tense situation.
- Adjust bedtimes: if you find that your child is playing up during the day, make their bed time 5 minutes earlier that night. Explain to them at the time that this is the consequence, and remind them at bed time that their actions have consequences, and in this case that means going to bed 5 minutes earlier.
- Homemade “Correction” can: fill it with tickets or slips of paper with various consequences written on them. Instead of giving your child a time-out, send them the can for a slip. A few ideas might include no TV or electronics for a night, early bedtime, or an extra chore. Toss in a blank piece of paper, a “mercy” ticket, this will give you the opportunity to discuss why there are consequences for actions even though you’ve decided that today there will be “mercy”.
- “I forgot”: does your child “forget” to do certain chores, such as tidy up, or put a certain toy away? Do it for them. When asked, say you’re not sure where it is and have them look for it. After some time, they will realise that putting things away themselves is far easier than finding your secret hiding spots.
- “I’m Bored”: When a child mentions anything about being “bored”, have them to sit and do nothing (including having conversations) until they list 5 things they would rather be doing (and could be doing) than sitting in time-out.
- Big T-Shirt: if your children are not getting along, an idea would be to put them into a big t-shirt together, with two head holes cut out of course, and have them do activities together until they can get along. There have been many reports of children wanting to stay in the shirt and continue to play with their sibling once they realise it’s actually a fun thing to do.
- Positive Outcome Jar: At the end of the day, if a child hasn’t acted out, or has done something that needs some positive recognition, have them draw something from the jar. It can include having a treat like ice cream, a trip to the movies, or staying up extra late.
We hope that you are able to use some of these “tricks” to help be creative with discipline, and help your child move past their negative moment into a positive one.
At Angel’s Paradise Early Education Childcare Centres, we encourage creativity and good behaviour.