Wednesday, June 11, 2008

WFMW: Kids and Discipline

How many times a day do you tell your kids "no" or "don't"? Can I tell you a secret? You're totally wasting your breath.

Have you ever known someone who successfully quit smoking? Chances are excellent that they replaced the behavior they wanted to eliminate (smoking) with one that had fewer consequences. Perhaps it was chewing gum.

Well, discipline works the same way. You can't replace a something with a nothing. You can't just say, "Don't hit your sister!" (Believe me, I say this a thousand times a day.) You have to say, "That's not nice. Use your words, instead. Tell her that you don't want her to play with your toy." You have to teach your child how to get the message across that she's trying to send in a socially acceptable way.

If your kids are yelling, it's more effective to say, "Use your inside voice!" than it is to say, "Quit yelling!" or even "Be quiet!" Because the first example tells your kids what you want them to do, while the other two do not.

This is something I have to practice and remind myself to do all the time. It does not come naturally to me in the slightest. But with practice, we can all be better parents. The brilliant Dr. Dave says that being "consistent" as a parent means that you do something 80% of the time. It's impossible, he says, to be 100% consistent. So, the next 5 times you have to correct your kids, try telling them what you want them to do, instead of what you don't want them to do. Let me know if it works for you!

Visit Shannon at Rocks in my Dryer for more Works for me Wednesday tips!


Jenn said...

Yes that does work however sometimes a good yell to stop it works too ! I think it depends on what mood the kids are in what they are really going to listen to.

Rob Monroe said...

Thank you!! I have stopped reading the site that you and I "met" at because I was called an ignorant idiot for saying this.

"NO" is saved for danger, that's our rule. (It goes back to beig camp staff for us)