This is a "tricky" topic if you ask me. I quite frankly don't know much about discipline. I have observed my parent's way of discipline, but I haven't really established my own fully as I am new to this with a 5 and a 6-year-old.
However, with the "little" that I do know, I have observed some things along the way that I do believe is important. So I share them to see how you also view them to open up for conversations that we sometimes tend to ignore.
So I have provided some of my insights on my parenting journey that I would love to share with you, especially for those who are experiencing tough battles with their child's behavior.
Have you also learned anything about discipline as a mom? How has that been for you? Please feel free to also share your own ideas, or ask your questions or concerns in our FORUM section. I will be happy to help you!
"Discipline is the "grey area" we so often try to ignore as parents."
BUILD A BOND WITH LOVE FIRST
I never really thought about this part until I became aware of it on my own personal journey as a mom. Now I see and appreciate the importance of doing this. I do believe a bond creates a safe space for children to grow and flourish as a mom.
When they experience that safe space, it becomes so much easier for them to cope, and the behavioral issues will reduce.
Children require that safe space and therefore I do believe providing that as a parent is integral for their growth and development.
How do we build bonds as parents? We do that in the small things we do with them each day. One for example can be something simple as saying "I love you" to them daily.
I honestly was never that "I love you" person. We didn't do that much when I was growing up. Ours was just an understanding that we loved each other. So I do struggle with even saying this to my own kids. How weird is that?
However, I do know that it helps each child when they verbally hear those words. Even though I'm personally not used to saying it, I try to do that so that they can know that their mommy loves them.
BE CONSISTENT WITH YOUR CHOICE OF DISCIPLINE
I have tried every discipline tactic in the book. I even attended classes and tried those techniques, and the list goes on.
However, after trying ALL those things, I still ended up with nothing personally, because I got so tired of sending my kids into disciplinary confusion.
So I have learned that the goal is to be consistent with discipline. Choose one and be consistent with that one. Don't try to do so many different ones, until you end up being frustrated that nothing is working.
If it's, time-out then be consistent with time-out. If it's a color chart or system, then be consistent with that system. If it's the removal of toys or activities, then be consistent with that one.
The goal is to stick with the best one that you think will work with your family and do only that one.
BE OPEN TO HEARING WHAT YOUR CHILD IS EXPERIENCING
As a parent, I do believe that it's necessary to be open to listening to your child, especially when they are having difficult or challenging situations centered around their behavior.
When you understand why they are behaving the way they do, then it's easier to see how best you can help them with that particular behavioral issue.
Have a talk with them in a quiet place and ask open-ended questions about what is happening in that particular situation.
Examples of questions are:
Why are you sad, or angry?
Explain to me what happened and why are you behaving this way?
How can I best help you as a mom to control that behavior?
Let's both come up with a solution together to ensure that it doesn't happen again.
For more information about temper tantrums, visit my blog post on:
BE AWARE OF SUDDEN SHIFTS IN BEHAVIOR PATTERNS
Sometimes everything is going well and then all of a sudden, a "not so nice" behavior pops up. That's the time to start digging a bit further to see what exactly could have happened, at home, at school, or in any other environment that your child attends.
This is sometimes key in finding out where certain behavior patterns have started. Yes as parents, we obviously can't control everything happening at school or elsewhere, however knowing what could have triggered some offset of behavioral patterns is helpful when trying to correct them.
Once you have pinpointed where these behaviors could be coming from, it's easier to find ways to resolve them or speak to your child about them.
Here's an example: my youngest son has been throwing "butt jokes" around for some time to my displeasure. I have tried to discipline him about his behavior to no avail. When I asked him where he was hearing those words from, it was from a few kids at school. So that helped me to better understand what was happening and where it was coming from.
Of course, the only thing I could do in this situation is to talk to him about the use of more appropriate words instead of following what his friends were saying. My dilemma hmmm..., which brings me to my next point.
KNOW YOUR CHILD'S CIRCLE OF INFLUENCE
This is where I love the moms who homeschool. I get to not deal with this at the school level. However, I am not at that level of homeschooling my kids and therefore, they have to go to school and interact with other kids.
While they're at school, I can only as ask them more about the kids they hang around with so that I can get a better understanding of who their friends are. That sometimes helps me to understand any behavioral issues I am trying to get rid of.
Bullying at school can start from a young age. I had no clue about this until my son spoke up about it. Who would have thought that a 6-year-old would have to deal with any of this. It's too young, right? Boy was I so wrong.
My kid's pediatrician was the one who spoke to me about bullying by other kids at school and its effects on kids and their behavior. She spoke to my child at his annual physical and I seriously looked at her strangely. Like really why are you asking my child these questions?
But these questions need to be asked to any child, even as young as his age. When kids are being treated unfairly at school, it affects them. They can sometimes shut down completely and not want to interact with anyone.
I am thankful for this knowledge as a parent and I do want you also to ask these questions to your kids. You can learn so much about anything when you are open to having conversations with your kids.
BE OBSERVANT ABOUT WHAT THEY SEE AND DO
Observation is key in the world of parenting. It's not being a "stalker", but being aware of what's happening in your home and at school.
Many times parents, including myself, just let things "go with the flow". But honestly, we have to be proactive in seeing what's happening in our child's environment. If there are things that need to be changed then it's necessary to do so with that particular understanding.
Depending also on the severity of this change, that could be something drastic as a change in school or activities.
I wrote a blog post about "why I limit screen time for my kids". It was related to what I blindly did not know what my kids were watching on the television. In my mind it's a cartoon, right? But some of these cartoons are questionable.
So I made the changes I needed to in order to protect the behavioral issues that I have observed.
You can read the blog post here:
BE GRACEFUL AND ALSO PATIENT
Some things take time and are never a quick fix. Kids' behavior will fluctuate each and every single time because let's face it, they are growing and evolving every single day. They also change their environment and friendships all the time. There is absolutely no consistency in raising kids.
The best that I can do as a mom is to give myself the grace that I need to be a parent and to also be patient in my progress. I am going to have some tough times and that's also going to be ok getting through those times as well. But The goal is to take each step as I go and to learn from every obstacle on how to improve.
I'm never going to get everything that I need to understand about being a parent, so I have to be honest with myself and trust my abilities as I grow and mature more into my role as a mother.
So never ever be too hard on yourself as a parent. Always do just what your best is and that's absolutely good enough.
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My favorite quote: "There is no perfect parent. we are all on a journey of trial and error."
Did you find the strategies listed in this article helpful? What were some of your favorite tips? How have they worked for you? Leave a comment below, I’d love to know what you think.
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