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Parent Resources

Effective Ways To Discipline A Child

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Have children rest or play apart for a time when they keep irritating one another, fight, squabble, and hit, or kick. Being apart for a while lets each calm down. Then you can use other ways to encourage better behavior.

*Behavior Management*
Talk with children calmly to learn what happened and why and how they see it. Then talk about ways to deal with it. Come to a solution that's agreeable to both you and the child. This helps children learn to be responsible for their behavior.

When children get into trouble, stop them, explain why you are stopping them, and suggest another activity. When they scribble on the wall, give them paper and crayons. When they race dangerously indoors, take them outside for a game of chase. When they throw books at each other, gather them for a story time or organize a beanbag toss. This works especially well with young children.

When children cause trouble or hurt, expect them to fix it up—or at least help. If they spill milk, give them a cloth to clean it up. If they break a toy, ask them to help with fixing it. If they make a child cry, have them help with the soothing. If they throw toys around the room, ask them to put them away.

The best way to deal with misbehavior aimed at getting your attention is to simply ignore it. But be sure to give attention to your children when they behave well. Children need attention for good behavior, not misbehavior.

*Be Firm*
Clearly and firmly state, or even demand, that the child do what needs to be done. Do not use a wishy-washy tone of voice. Speak in a tone that lets your child know that you mean what you say and that you expect the child to do it. Being firm doesn't mean yelling, threatening, reasoning, or taking away privileges. Being firm works for any age child and for many situations.

*Stay in Control*
Act before the situation gets out of control before you get angry and overly frustrated and before the child's behavior becomes unreasonable.

*Be Detached*
In other words, "keep your cool". If your child does something you don't approve of, or is wrong, pretend your child is your neighbor's child and ask yourself, "What would I do?" Or imagine that you are your child's teacher. How would the teacher handle this situation? That is how you might handle it, too.

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Feb.10th, 2000

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