I know the kind of parent I want to be, but oftentimes I find myself falling short of this lofty goal. And so, at times when I feel like I’m becoming increasingly naggy, when I am more often at odds with my sons than in step with them, or when I am always in a foul mood because of something they have done “wrong”, I know it is time to revisit the Displine Armoury and remind myself that a change in management is required and to search for a different weapon to combat my children’s irksome behaviours.
What else does Elizabeth Pantley offer for the discipline armoury? Compliments, encouragement and kind words. We all love to hear them and so do our chidren. It’s funny how we can remember how important these are to strangers, but fail to remember how important they are to our children.
As Elizabeth Pantley so aptly puts it, a child’s world is so full of negative input, orders, corrections, and criticisms because we want them to grow up “right”. Many discipline books say the same thing – sometimes the most effective way to get our children to behave the way we want them to is to acknowledge their behaviours that we like. Catch them being good and praise them for those behaviours. Children are eager to please and they will repeat the behaviours for which they were praised.
And if they are like Gavin, they will even hunt for praise. There are times when I tell him he has “x” minutes before he has to pack up and go to bed. Sometimes he will surprise me by packing up before the time is over and he will say, “Mummy, was I good? I stopped before you told me to?”
I know this is nothing new as far as discipline goes, but I think it is one that is so easily forgotten which is why it is worth rewriting and rereading so we can remember to do it. It is so easy to get caught up in all the “wrong” things our children are doing that we forget to notice the things that they are doing right. I find that if I can take the time out to remember all the “good” things Gavin has done, I realise he is actually a pretty good kid.
The Discipline Armoury: Tip 23 – Foundation.