Friday, May 27, 2011

Parenting Lesson: United We Stand

Here is a brief synopsis of our parenting class last night.

Parents need to be united in parenting.  

Children need to know that they will get the same answer/discipline no matter which parent they deal with.

What to do if you and your spouse have differing views on discipline:
  1. Don't argue in front of the children about discipline.  This shifts focus away from child and turns into parent vs. parent.
  2. Negotiate a plan.  When things are calm, discuss views and differences and come up with an agreed-upon plan.
5 steps to disciplining:
  1. Commit yourself - Child must know that you'll do what you say you will.  Don't threaten a punishment you're not willing to follow through with.
  2. Be realistic - Make sure the expected behavior is age-appropriate.
  3. Give predictable consequences - Child needs to know that the same behavior gets the same result every time.
  4. Use child-level logic - Use terms they understand, explain reasons why you're asking that behavior.
  5. Try to say "yes" when you can.  "Mommy, can I have a cookie?"  Mom replies, "After dinner, yes, you may have a cookie."  Instead of an immediate "No!".
4 common discipline mistakes:
  1. Losing your temper.  Yelling begets yelling and gets you nowhere.
  2. Treating children as adults.  You will listen to their concerns, but this is not a democracy.  The parents need to be in charge.
  3. Bribery.  They need to make good behavior intrinsic.  We behave well because that is what we do as a member of this family.
  4. Inconsistency.  If you say "no", make sure it means "no" and that you don't give in.


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