Parenting Skills and Child Discipline: Table of Contents
Management Tips for kids with Difficult Traits
Knowing how to handle each behavior that results from having a difficult temperment can change the pattern of ill-feelings and helplessness that both parent and child experience.
How They Grow: Birth through Age Twelve
If we know what to expect at each stage of development, it is easier to decide if our child's behavior is "normal." Knowing what to expect can help parents deal with the frustrations and problems that are quite normal for each age.advertisement
If this is normal, why can't I stand it?
"If a child's behavior is normal for that age, but not a particularly positive behavior, can the parent do something about it?" Guidelines for getting through the rough spots.
The Importance of Setting Limits
Setting limits is difficult but no one ever said parenting was an easy task. Parents must set limits for their children. No one else can discipline with the same love, affection, and concern as a parent. When kids know where the limits are, they feel safe.
Three-Step Discipline Plan
If getting kids to do what must be done becomes a struggle, family life becomes a major hassle. The following Three Stage Discipline Plan is offered as a way to make sense of the options parents have in working with their children.
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Discipline: Using Natural and Logical Consequences to Teach
It is the parents' job to see that the every child experiences the consequences of his or her own behavior. Punishment won't work but discipline will! When behavior and consequences are directly related, the child learns. Parents can provide the means or the situation for teaching and learning to occur.
Instead of Orders, Offer Choices
For parents, bossing is a quick response. "Just do it!" Bossing, however, doesn't work. It creates time-consuming problems and it deprives children of opportunities for learning to make decisions. There is a better way.
Recipe for Successful Time-Outs
These cookbook steps to successful time-outs work! If you follow the steps EXACTLY, Dr. Rimm promises that..."Children will become much calmer, will obey most of your requests, and won't behave as obnoxious little brats. You'll be in control of your children and you'll be a much more confident parent."
What To Do (and Not To Do) When Siblings Fight
Children under the same roof quarrel, bicker, argue, fight, and engage in other disagreeable forms of socialization. These techniques solve sibling conflicts.
Simple Steps to Stop Arguers
Arguments tend to be of two types: the argument that follows a parent's request and the argument that follows a child's request. The following techniques address both kinds of arguments with one goal -- To Stop Arguing!
Empty Threats and Fake Choices: BIG MISTAKES
Parents can say the most ridiculous things at times. Most of us have been guilty at one time or another of making empty threats or offering fake choices. Neither approach will motivate or inspire kids to cooperate.
By experience, I've found that it is better to prevent problems than solve them. The following guidelines are as close to "rules" as I care to get.
Ways to Reduce the Hassles
The following are common sense parenting tips that make the job of raising children less of a hassle for parents and children.
Useless Power Struggles to Avoid
Eating, sleeping, and elimination respond to internal cues, not orders and children do what they feel like doing. The problems start when these basic functions must be fitted into the way the rest of the world lives.
Parental Authority - It's an Attitude
An adult's authority with children comes from a matter-of-fact attitude about the business at hand. The tone of one's voice, the volume, the pitch, and the purposefulness with which something is said convey authority to a child. If there is a hint of begging or pleading, all authority is lost.
It's a Mistake to be TOO Nice
Children have an instinctive ability to beg and plead their way out of consequences. They honestly believe that they will never do it again, but they will. Giving in to a child's distress and agony is not a kind thing to do. Sometimes, you have to be tough to be a parent.
Parenting is a management job, not a dictatorship.
Trying to force children into battles over obedience is a miserable way to live. Instead of seeing parenting as a dictatorship, see the task of parenting as a management challenge. If daily life is a struggle at your house, here are a few suggestions that might help.
To spank or NOT to spank
Some people say that spanking is child abuse. Other people say that spanking is necessary. Is spanking necessary? Questions about spanking still divide parents.
A Matter of Obedience
Is blind obedience what we really want from our kids? Children are inquisitive and bright enough to ask "why" and expect an explanation. They want to understand the rules and injuctions they are expected to follow. They want to think for themselves. There is a solution.
A Kitchen Timer -- Great Tool for Parents
Every family needs an objective, non-partisan referee for daily events. The kitchen timer can be just that. A kitchen timer is one of the most useful tools a parent can own.
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Absolutely the best: 1-2-3 Magic
by Thomas Phelan is a quick read offering parents a no-nonsense approach to rational, humane, effective discipline for children, ages 2 -12. (especially effective for difficult children and their stressed-out parents.) Short on theory, long on results, this book is a gem. Parents can learn how to stop behaviors that need to be stopped and start behaviors that need to be started. Both situations need explicit techniques and Dr. Phelan explains how to do it. It really is as simple as "1-2-3." The parent trap of begging, arguing, yelling, and hitting will be a thing of the past. Used with Dr. Rimm's recipe for successful time outs, this book is terrific.
Last Updated: 28 July 2014
Reviewed by Harry Croft, MD