Disciplining Your Preschooler: 9 Tips That Work
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Published by TOP4 Team
Parenting doesn't have to be a battle between you and your child. Disciplining your pre-schooler may be hard, but you can do it without damaging your parent-child relationship. Here are some tips that will guide you as you implement discipline in your home.
1. Set realistic expectations.
Understand where your child falls on the developmental process. Keep in mind that a child’s level of maturity does not always correspond with his or her age. While some kids are done with temper tantrums at age 3, others are still having meltdowns from time to time at age 5.
As your child grows and begins to understand the connection between actions and consequences, make sure you start communicating the rules. When your child is arguing with the rules, neutralise negotiations by repeating one simple mantra as often as necessary, such as "I love you too much to argue."
2. Be patient.
Patience is essential. Some behaviour may go away within a matter of days or weeks, but others may take longer to change. Focus on controlling your temper — not your child’s.
3. Learn to listen.
Just because you are the parent, it doesn’t mean that you’re entitled to speak all the time while your child is allowed to just keep quiet and listen. Communication is always a two-way process. Listen to your child and validate the feelings causing the problem, then set firm limits when he/she is behaving inappropriately.
4. Model good behaviour.
Children imitate what they see from adults. If you want your child to behave properly, then show how to behave properly.
5. Spend time with your child.
Quality time is the key to a happy, well-behaved child. Spend at least 15 minutes one-on-one connecting with a child every day. Get your children involved with family meetings to come up with solutions together.
6. Know when to walk away.
Children often act up because they want to get your attention, so sometimes it is better to ignore those actions you don't want to see more of. Play deaf or walk away, and your child will learn that there's a better way to communicate.
7. Focus on the behaviour you like, not the behaviour you don't.
It's important to tell your child the right thing to do, not just what is wrong or forbidden. Instead of just telling your child the “dont’s,” offer positive behaviours to replace misbehaviours.
8. Reward good behaviour.
Don't underestimate the positive effect that your praise can bring. Commending your kids’ good deeds will build their self-image. Be specific when giving praise rather than just saying "Good job!"
9. Think it over before giving punishment.
Explain to kids what you expect from them before you punish them for a certain behaviour. Discuss why an action is not allowed and what will happen if they do it. Decide how many times they can misbehave before you give punishment.
Raising a child takes a village. Don’t hesitate to seek help from childcare experts and services in your community.