Tuesday, January 10, 2012

in Control or Under Control?

To be successful in life, all children must learn appropriate ways to:
meet their needs,
relate to others,
express themselves,
restrain impulses,
channel emotions,
respond to frustration, and
make right and healthy choices
Good discipline teaches a child to act appropriately - not because he/she is told to, but because he/she wants to. How do you motivate a child to self-control? One way is by allowing consequences to happen.
In The Birth to Five Book, I share a story about my Laura who was not being self-controlled about getting ready for school. One morning I told her that she must be dressed when her bus arrives or she'll have to dress on the bus. When the bus pulled up and tooted its horn, Laura was . . . almost dressed . . . she only needed her shoes and socks. I put those items in a bag and handed it to her so she could finish dressing on the bus. Did it make her uncomfortable? Um, yes. Did I feel like a mean mom? Right again. But it taught Laura that I meant what I said and to take responsibility for dressing every morning. Never again did Laura dawdle around in the morning. And I never again had to nag her, "get dressed" or "hurry up."

When children experience the consequence of their behavior, it makes an deep impact. It causes them to be accountable – “own” - their behavior. If the consequence is positive, they’re motivated to repeat the good behavior. If the consequence is negative (Laura dressing on the bus), they’ll likely choose different behavior next time. Children learn to be responsible and self-regulated when they are allowed to experience the consequence of their behavior.
Today - and everyday - your discipline goal is to:
teach your child to self-control.
You can do that by allowing consequences to happen. Eventually, you can rest assured that your child will act in appropriate ways even when he/she isn't under your control.

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