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:
- Don't argue in front of the children about discipline. This shifts focus away from child and turns into parent vs. parent.
- Negotiate a plan. When things are calm, discuss views and differences and come up with an agreed-upon plan.
- 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.
- Be realistic - Make sure the expected behavior is age-appropriate.
- Give predictable consequences - Child needs to know that the same behavior gets the same result every time.
- Use child-level logic - Use terms they understand, explain reasons why you're asking that behavior.
- 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!".
- Losing your temper. Yelling begets yelling and gets you nowhere.
- Treating children as adults. You will listen to their concerns, but this is not a democracy. The parents need to be in charge.
- Bribery. They need to make good behavior intrinsic. We behave well because that is what we do as a member of this family.
- Inconsistency. If you say "no", make sure it means "no" and that you don't give in.