For some parents, the idea of disciplining a child is associated with punishment. The adage “spare the rod and spoil the child” is ingrained in their consciousness. However, gentle parents and child behavior therapists argue that punishment supersedes the natural inclination towards the right behavior by making the child behave in certain ways to purely avoid punishment.
Also, there are negative side effects of punishment, such as attempting to escape the situation associated with the act, engagement in aggressive activities, and emotional effects (feeling upset, crying, etc.). And these side effects don’t relate to the punishment’s effectiveness – the upset child doesn’t indicate the effectiveness of punishment in suppressing behavior.
So, parents should adopt a different approach when it comes to managing children’s behavior, their impulses and feelings. You want your child to develop a positive mindset, sound moral compass, as well as feelings into what decisions are “appropriate” to be in a position to justify their choices. So, how do you go from “punishment” to “teaching”? By taking small steps, of course.
Here are a few tips to help you discipline your child without punishment.
1. Find Physical Sources of Distress
Physical sources of distress contribute to temper tantrums. For instance, uncomfortable and tight clothing could result in skin irritation, restricted body movement, and uncontrolled anger. These factors directly contribute to negative behavior in children. Parents, in this instance, have the option to consider seamless clothing products for kids. Clothing that is super soft and free from elastic makes it ideal for kids with sensitive skin. By reducing hypersensitivity and tightening, seamless clothing can improve your child’s mood, positively impacting his/her behavior. Compression garments are known to offer superior comfort.
2. Reassure / Calm Them Down With Words
If they’re displaying negative behavior, try listening to them to know what is the root cause of their behavior. Then, spend a few minutes talking in a therapeutic manner with your child, conveying care and warmth. This sort of communication works well to calm down the child and it also minimizes the negative behavior. You could say something like, “I know you don’t want to hurt anyone, but doing things like that can make others sad.” In addition, you could teach and reinforce a replacement behavior on the child – a positive behavior that results in the same outcome as the behavior you’re trying to replace.
3. Don’t Give Into Cliché Interventions
Parenting strategies like “tough love” have been popularized by the media, but they’re not based on childrearing research. The interventions are rarely effective in reality. In fact, they can make getting your child to behave in a certain manner much more difficult. A better approach is to model the behavior you want them to display i.e. showing children exactly how you want them to act. You’d benefit from the fact that children copy their parents.
4. Provide Choices
After showcasing empathy, try offering choices to your children. Choices take it to the next level by making the young ones feel they’re in control. Not only they are not “disobedient”, instead of receiving punishment they’re given control, and that’s more than enough to move them out of unwanted territory. Remember to select your choices carefully though, because after your child chooses a certain offer, it needs to be honored.
Take these measures instead of punishing your children to enforce positive behavior while ensuring you’re not frowned upon.