Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Talking it out

Oh the D word. Yes. Discipline. As kids, we all dreaded it... be it a time out, a toy taken away, no dessert or a simple N-O. I always thought the terrible twos and threes and fours would be the biggest test of patience before the teens. What I didn't quite anticipate was an expanded vocabulary, a cunning mind and a sassy personality. I was brought up being physically disciplined with a spanking for misbehaving (and I'm not complaining or judging... I did turn out amazing-ish). As a parent myself, I don't really see the point. I attempted time outs and just never felt it helped either.

If Aliyah is out of line, I'd rather explain what went wrong and how to fix it. What's even more important is that she's able to explain it back to me, too. In her own words, of course. We can all learn to read, but what's important is comprehension or else it's just words on a page. It's much more of a learning experience if she understands not just what she did wrong, but why it's wrong and how she can behave better next time. We value talking about our emotions and expressing if something makes us feel bad (as parents or even as the child). It's important that she feels comfortable and willing to talk to us. It means there is always an open line for communication and that's the kind of family relationship I want to build. She understands the concept of trust and honesty and these are very integral traits to teach your child. 

Soooo, I never said this all didn't end up in tears. She is only six. Fake or genuine, the hardest part is ignoring the tears and waiting for them to subside. Kids can be persistent, especially with crying, testing every ounce of your willpower to not acknowledge them or every last effort will have been lost. I'm still working on this part! It's not easy to ignore, but when I do it actually results in a bona fide apology on her part and pinky promise it won't happen again. This part is majorly important! She comes to me on her own will to do it (and sometimes this can be 1-2 days after the fact). I think I've done something right! 

I know every parent struggles with all kinds of child behaviour and discipline. We'd like to know which ways work for you and your family?

Valerie SMFS

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