Today’s episode is for all those parents who are struggling with disciplining their child and the common behavioural problems that come with it. We have discussed things like poor behaviour, validating feelings, over parenting, setting boundaries, positive reinforcements and much more.
For giving us a deeper insight into child discipline techniques we have with us a special guest all the way from new jersy USA- katie rose Gately.
She is the founder of the behaved brain wellness centre, a licensed professional counsellor, A board-certified behaviour analyst and an integrative health coach. She has been in practice, working with parents, families and children for 15 years.
Understanding child behaviour is of prime importance to know why your child isn’t following rules or likes to disobey. Kids aren’t animals that we need to tame. But they certainly have tiny brains that need to be prepared for independent life ahead.
1. Does your child act rouge frequently or expresses himself in a rude or violent manner?
Kids usually act out for access to control or express themselves in a maladaptive way. The more control we give them over their environments the better off, they will be. Try doing things differently based on these simple hacks.
↠Laying out house rules,
↠Setting out expectations beforehand can help kids feel in control and know what is expected of them.
Using these simple ideas you can notice a subtle change in their behaviour. Be consistent in applying the rules you set. Kids love independence. Giving them the sense of freedom by laying out their routine or day for them will make it really easy to prevent occurrences of meltdown.
In a nutshell, Adjusting the home environment will help us avoid negative behaviour in children.
Uncertainty triggers bad behaviours and its very normal. The best example of this is travelling with your child. Rarely a parent will find travels and vacations easy with kids by their side. It’s simply because young kids don’t know what will come next and it scares them. Not knowing how to express this feeling, they end up getting cranky, irritable or cry the whole time.
What can you do to make your travels easy with kids?
- Talk about your plans well in advance.
- Chalk out a routine and explain it to your kids.
- Let them be an active part of the itinerary planning,
- This will help reduce the anxiety associated with travels and kids will comply better.
2. How important is it to Validate the child’s feelings?
Often kids are going 0-60 within minutes meaning they act fast. If you can validate that you hear them, and you’re understanding what they are saying, then it can often decrease their stress response. This will allow you to have a more productive conversation focused on problem-solving rather than concentrating on the child’s rouge behaviour.
3. Are you the mom who runs to her child’s rescue every time he’s in trouble?
Every mother loves her child and can go to any limits for the child’s safety. This love needs to have a boundary. Every time there is a problem and you run to the child’s rescue, then the child will never learn to tackle problems on his own.
For eg., his tower broke down or a kid hit her in school or every time he falls. This kind of behaviour is wrong yet quite common and we unconsciously engage in it under the pretext of concern or care for our child. It will definitely hamper the development of problem-solving abilities in kids.
4. How to teach problem-solving to kids without doing everything for them.
Whenever your child encounters a problem, in your presence, the first thing you should do is ask him about the problem. This will give you an insight into his assessment of the problem. Next, ask him what possible solutions could be. A toddler can come up with an average of 1 to 3 solutions for a particular problem.
Another important method to inculcate the habit of problem-solving without an actual problem being there is to let kids express their opinions on all matters. (when calm and being appropriate) This helps them learn to address their needs and ask for help when needed.
This amazing habit will teach your child to use his own cognitive abilities and not blindly follow your opinions and instructions.
4. How do we set boundaries?
Once we do that and kids dont get their way, then there is a huge flood of emotions, how do we teach them to cope up with their emotions in such situations. Children have opinions, and it is important to teach them safe ways to handle their emotions, cope with difficult strategies and teach problem-solving.
But just as a CEO does not allow his employees to dictate every rule, a parent should allow kids to be HEARD, but not be in charge. Explaining the rules and consequences, upfront can help avoid many situations of disobedience.
You Should also provide the reason why you are implementing the rules. This is more important for older kids who like to reason over eveyr instruction you have given. An impotant corner stone of setting boundaries is to implement the consequence consistently.
For example, if you have a rule in the house that says, one gets time out every time he/she hits, Then you implement that time out while allowing them space to process what they could have done differently.
5. What to do if none of your child behaviour strategies work?
What could be the probable reasons for the failure of our most behavioural plans be? We read, discuss, spend nights thinking why are kids misbehave, experiment with multiple strategies but all fail. The first step to making your discipline techniques work is to identify the cause.
Look at the source of behavior.
- If it is attention, access to something they want or
- escaping something they don’t want.
Often behaviour plans aren’t working because the child is still getting reinforcement in some way. Try to identify these reinforcements and eliminate them. For eg. If you have a rule for screen time not exceeding two hours a day and your child still asks for it. What do you do?
Kids are smart they may come up with such requests when you are either busy or tired. And most parents resort to leniency and bend the rules at these times. Now we are all humans and this is absolutely normal.
But the damage this did, will cause a subconscious modification in your child’s mind that, rules can be bent or worse broken. So stand your ground. Because these are kids and they will test you and your patience in every way possible.
6. How to use Positive reinforcements to keep our child motivated?
Positive reinforcements are a great tactic to keep your child motivated and still not get bogged down by all the praise. So can we use this psychological construct to our benefit when it comes to parenting? It involves working through a way to praise a child for behaviours you would like to see.
Praise doesn’t mean the use of flowery language. It means using a language that opens doors for conversations with your child. One that gives him cues like – he’s good at something and you like it but there is room for improvement.
Keeping this jist in mind, you can form your conversations whenever the opportunity to praise your child arises. For eg if your child has made a drawing anf you like it, instead of saying
Its beautiful i love it
Instead of this You can say
I love the use of purple colour for the clouds, its very creative. How about we make a few birds up there or an aeroplane?
In this way the child is aware of the appreciation and at the same time works hard towards getting better results each time. This. Type of constructive praise will help develop confidence in your child as well.
If you have any thoughts or comments that you would like to share, then please comment below, I would love to hear them.
You can connect with Karie Gately on her social media and her website below for her support groups, online workshops and insightful blogs. She goes by @behavedbrain
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