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Some useful Discipline Techniques - All about Parenting Toddlers , Issue #008
March 26, 2003
Shaping the life of your precious onesAll about Parenting Toddlers
26th March 2003
In This Issue:
1. Some useful Discipline Techniques
Tired of nagging and reprimanding your kids to no avail? Find out some discipline techniques that are working for other parents.
Catch Them Doing Something Right. Positive behavior should get the same attention poor behavior does. I find it helps to comment on ways my children are helping, "Thanks for clearing your place at the table without being asked," or praising them when they act in a kind way. Reinforcing their positive behavior seems to produce more of it.
Clear Expectations. To avoid meltdown in the store, I always tell the kids what I expect BEFORE we go in, while we are still in the car. I let them know what we are shopping for, how long we will be, and what they can and cannot get. If I allow them to get candy at the check-out, I let them know beforehand if they can have it in the car, or wait until after dinner. If a problem occurs in the store, I can say, "Remember what we talked about in the car?"
Remove And Distract. Even though it may seem like your 10-month-old is purposely trying to be defiant, children at this age are just exploring the world around them and expanding their physical capabilities. If your toddler thinks it's fun to empty out the wastebaskets over and over again, put them out of reach for a while. If he has just realized that he can push the buttons on the TV on and off, with and without the remote, get him a play remote of his own, and a busy box with buttons he can push. Sometimes all you need to do when a child is getting into something you don't want them to is to say, "Hey sweetie, why don't you come over here, I have something to show you..." and then distract them with a favorite book or toy that they can play with.
Natural Consequences. If it's not morally or physically harmful, just let the child experience the natural consequence of his/her actions. If he/she forgets his lunch, he/she goes hungry. If he/she breaks something, he/she replaces it.
Revoke a Privilege. We all have favorite leisure time activities that we enjoy. If you don't feel like your kid is getting the message about an important issue, taking away a pleasurable activity may be the trick to get their attention. For example, "You didn't clean up your room like I asked, so no TV tonight" or "You ignored the 10 p.m. curfew and you were an hour late, you are grounded for two weeks" or "Because you continue to fight with your sister, you can't use your Nintendo for the rest of the week."
Take Favorite Toy Away. If I take my son's favorite toy away for a while, he usually changes his attitude real fast, because he wants it back. Don't be too quick giving the toys back though, so children don't start thinking this is a game. Explain to them why you are doing this.
Teach By Example. Be the best example of a mature, responsible, loving and giving adult that you can be. If you don't want your kids to lie, don't let them hear you lie to someone on the phone. If you want them to come home on time, make sure that you are home when you say you will be. If you don't want them yelling and hitting their siblings, make sure that you're not always yelling or hitting. If you don't want them to smoke cigarettes and do drugs, quit smoking and talk to them about the dangers of drugs. If you want them to be loving and giving, show them and tell them how much you love them as often as you can and teach them how important it is to give back to your community and to help others, especially those less fortunate than yourself.
More toys you can make from things you find around the house or things that you would have thrown away …….
11. String. Children find a million uses for string, from tying up toy "baddies" to making a washing line for doll's clothes. It can be tied to chair legs to make a jump, dipped into paint and twirled on to paper, plaited, knitted with, made into a parachute or mobile, used as a measuring aid or for learning how to tie shoelaces and bows. It need never linger in the kitchen drawer again.
12. Sewing cards. Stick a picture on to a postcard or draw a simple duck, car or teddy shape. With a bodkin needle push holes around the outline of your design about one inch apart. Using brightly coloured wool in the bodkin or a long bootlace, thread in and out of the holes.
13. Stilts. You need to do a little drilling for this one. Take two strong tins, coffee or clean paint tins are ideal, and drill a hole about one inch from the top on opposite sides of the tin. Insert a length of string and knot securely. Check that the handle is at a comfortable length for the child before knotting the other side. These are always very popular, but never leave young children alone with them especially near stairs or steps.
14. Cafes. Children's tea sets are a handy prop for this game, but a picnic set or microwave cookware is just as good. Giving the waiter/waitress a little notebook and pencil to take orders and making a tall white hat from a cylinder of paper for the chef will add realism. Sit dolls and teddies around as well as willing Aunts and Grannies for extra customers.
15. Playdough. Mix together two cups of flour, one cup of salt, one cup of water, one tablespoon of oil and a few drops of food colouring for an easy to make dough that will keep for about three weeks if you wrap it in polythene and keep it in the fridge. All you have to do is knead the mixture well. Divide the mixture up first if you have more than one colour available.
16. Obstacle course. An obstacle course can turn a rainy day into an adventure. Use whatever you have available. A bench to walk the plank, cushion stepping stones across shark infested seas, through a cardboard box tunnel, up a chair mountain or through a duvet cave. The wilder your imagination the more your children will love it.
17. Easy boats. Recycle your empty margarine cartons. Use them as boats for the bath or paddling pool. These are so easy that even very young children can help to make them. Cut out triangular sail shapes from white or coloured paper. Make a small hole at the top and bottom of the sail so that you can push through a straw to make a mast. Let the child fix this to the bottom of a clean margarine tub with a lump of blue tack or plasticine. They sail extremely well and will even take a couple of toy people on an exciting cruise.
18. Capes. Nurses, kings, queens, Batman, Superman - they all need capes or cloaks. Luckily they are easy to make by attaching ribbon ties to an oblong of fabric in the colour of your child's favourite caped character. Keep an eye on them though as anything tied around the neck could be dangerous.
19. Leaf art. Collect leaves and draw around them. This is fun for little ones and an educational tree identification game for older children. Colour in the details with crayons or paints. The leaves could then be stuck on to paper collage style or dipped into paint and then pressed firmly on to paper for a lovely leaf print.
20. Make a puzzle. Stick a favourite picture on to card and allow to dry with a heavy book on top. Cut into pieces, how many depending on the age of the child, for an almost instant and personal puzzle.
How to Childproof Your Home
Accidents, most of which can be easily prevented, are the leading cause of death for children. You should childproof your home before your infant is becoming mobile (around six months of age).
More child safety tips.
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See you in the next issue. :-)
All the best,
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