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Discipline

A few parents have approached Train Kids with their struggle regarding discipline.


To speak on this, the book PARENTING WITH PANACHE of South African author Dereck Jackson was used as reference.

Dereck Jackson is an educator, counselor and parent.

He studied education and psychology in SA and in the USA.

He is a former head of a gifted-child center and ran a guidance center for children with educational problems.


Dereck describes panache as a confident, stylish manner.


The first chapter of Dereck’s book is called DISCIPLINE WITHOUT ANGER OR TEARS.

He has found that parent’s major concern is how to discipline effectively while still maintaining a good relationship with their children.


Dereck says he considers effective discipline the key to parenting - when parents get discipline right, almost everything else falls into place.

To do this, you need a structured, integrated plan.


So, when does discipline begin?

Discipline begins the day the child becomes mobile.

Before that, it is the parents who need to be disciplined, and in a routine.

If you don’t begin the day the child becomes mobile, he/she will destroy your home and destroy themselves by running across a road, or doing something equally dangerous.


There are 5 elements of effective discipline

1. Limit setting or rules

2. Models of discipline

3. Give an effective command

4. Question of punishment - what action is appropriate

5. How to handle difficult situations


1. LIMIT SETTING


1.1 Establish clear rules

- Parents feel rules will crush their child’s spirit

They want their children to be creative like Vincent van Gogh and paint beautiful paintings

If you don’t have rules you will get a Vincent who paints beautiful but also a Vincent who will cut of someone’s ear!

- If you want a successful child, they will need to respect the rules of society


1.2 Rules provide security

- Gives a sense of stability and set boundaries

RULE OF THUMB: YOUR CHILD WILL BE AS NAUGHTY AS YOU ALLOW HIM TO BE

Children without boundaries will keep on testing where the boundaries are

Children love rules – it makes them feel safe

Even adults need rules – what game doesn’t have rules?

Want a harmonious house – when children turn 4, have family meeting and discuss the house rules.

Order, structure and routine creates a happy home

Example – Boucher household

ONE RULE THAT IS NOT NEGOTIONABLE – PARENTS ARE IN CHARGE

YOU CAN NOT BE YOUR CHILD’S FRIEND

What kind of emotional dwarf of 35 needs a best friend of 5 and more so, what kind of mixed up child needs a friend of 35

There is a difference between being your child’s friend and being friendly, loving, supportive and comforting

IF THIS RULE IS ESTABLISHED, ALL OTHER RULES ARE NEGOTIABLE

Now you can sit and brainstorm and let children suggest rules.

Choose rules that make your life happier


A few common rules:

1. Parents are in charge

2. Set bed time and set get up time

3. Set time to eat

4. Time to tidy up

5. Set time to do homework (for older children)

6. Set time for bathing/showering

7. You speak to your parents with respect – it is in the 10 commandments


When you allow your children to speak to you with disrespect, they will do the same to other adults.

Rules have to do with time – Time gives order and structure

Tidy up is an important skill to learn

Under achievers often lack organization

Parents need to teach how to tidy up – teach them order – where does what go?

When can they start – from as young as 17 months old – age appropriate of course – not making beds


1.3 Applying the rules

Consistently but not rigidly

This is not a paradox

E.g. staying up late on weekday is not negotiable but on a Friday – let’s talk about it.

But it still a set time and not to be messed with

Rules and a sense of humour

When a child breaks a rule it is not ARMAGEDDON! DON’T THROW A FIT

Dereck says if teenage sons hang their towel on the rail, he has serious emotional problems…

You will struggle with some rules – one day their own children will do it to them too…

NOW – GO IN TO ASSERTIVE EFFECTIVE COMMAND


2. MODELS OF DISCIPLINE

· The Assertive model

· The Behaviouristic model

· The Problem-solving model


2.1 The Assertive model

Children know when parents are serious – THE BODY IS COMING AT ME!

Make use of effective assertive body language and tone of voice

It is not yelling. It is speaking with authority

Before making a command -

Is it worth the fuss?

Do I have the energy to see it through?

If not – rather not give the command, because by not following through you undermine your own discipline

Why do parents get commands wrong?

Ineffective mothers – NAG (the child does not know where the cutoff point is)

Ineffective fathers – PREACH


DON’T: NAG

PREACH

TELL WAR STORIES

GIVE: AN ASSERTIVE, EFFECTIVE COMMAND

If the child doesn’t respond, go into action


2.2 The Behaviouristic approach

These refer to manipulative or attention seeking behaviour such as tantrums or the sulk…

Child or adult will repeat behaviour that brings attention

We will rather have negative attention than no attention at all

Normally between 5 & 7 pm all conversations is negative: don’t do that…

The way to alter negative behaviour is to reward positive behaviour

Tantrums – pretend you don’t see it

Read a book, ignore

As soon as the child has calmed down say: What a lovely smile. Come and give me a hug. Let’s go and play

Gradually the child realizes he doesn’t get attention when being disruptive. I get attention when I am positive

BEWARE! The behaviour will get worse before it gets better

Have nerves of steel because they will think they are ignoring my tantrum I must be doing it wrong…

It will not work within 24 hours – rather 6-8 weeks – you are trying to change years of negative behaviour!


2.3 The Problem solving model

This method is used on teenage children.

Limits are adjusted to the child’s age

When a problem arises, instead of punishing, you settle down together and discuss the problem. Reach a solution together.

But, start this method at 4 years old.

E.g. child accidentally drops a bottle. Instead of punishing say: get a cloth and help me wipe

Encourage the child to seek solutions


3 HOW TO GIVE AN EFFECTIVE COMMAND

Children begin to realize when parents are serious.

They know that they have 5 chances before you get serious…

When the body is coming at me…

Voice is serious

If you don’t, they will never take you seriously


4 ACTION

This is the KEY to discipline

What action is appropriate will depend on:

* Age of the child

* Nature of the offense

* Your belief system

Before a child is mobile – it is the parents that need to be disciplined – don’t go to the mall if the baby is hungry

Once they are mobile – have eyes in the back of your head – take your child away from the danger

Sometimes a smack is reinforcing your verbal communication – it is not to cause pain

This is NOT CHILD ABUSE – you can’t negotiate with a child wanting to run across a busy road

Don’t smack across the face – on the bum

Don’t use and instrument – you might hit harder than you think

Older children can be sent to the bedroom

Come out when you can say sorry and smile

When they refuse – go into your bedroom and say you will sit there until they can say sorry – this will freak them out!

Diverting attention helps when it is and offence of nuisance value

E.g. kicking ball in the house – let Dad invite him to play soccer in the garden

90% of action is diverting attention

You don’t want to be in confrontation with your child all day long

The older the child gets, limiting TV time and deducting pocket money works well

Males keep discipline better than females (because of body language)

But males tend to overreact

Instead of telling a teenager who missed curfew to come in earlier the next time she goes out, Dad gates her for the next two years – the poor girl’s chances of marriage may have blown over by that time…

Dads and children often have bad relationships due to harsh punishments Dads hand out

Women have a wonderful instinct for reasonable punishment – men be guided by your wives.

Rules for punishment

· Short just punishments are productive

· Long, harsh punishments are counter-productive


5 DIFFICULT SITUATIONS


5.1 Sibling rivalry

Sibling rivalry gives the child the opportunity to stand up for him/herself in a safe environment

Single children do not have this and often struggle with coping with peers and bullying

Advice: never interfere until blood is drawn – only get involved when the situation gets out of hand

Never tak