How do we discipline children? Indulge, punish, or neglect? All of these are bad strategies. Discipline is about helping children develop reasoning by having a rational discussion about the situation, and redirecting them constructively.
Q1. Your child is enjoying Gramma’s house and refuses to go home with you. How should you handle the situation?
A1. Tell your child that they can sleep over and you will pick them the next day.
A2. Have a discussion with your child about how much fun it’s been, and they can ask Grandma when is a suitable time to visit again.
A3. Threaten to beat your child or take away privileges if they do not do as you say.
Q2. During play, your child is climbing from the slide up, and preventing others climbing from the ladder up, from sliding down. What should you do?
A1. Tell others to give way for your child to explore the other way of using the slide.
A2. Show your child how it might be dangerous for him and others going in opposite directions.
A3. Look away and say, children will figure out a way.
Q3. Your five year old child peed on himself because he forgot to go to the toilet in good time and is feeling ashamed. What should you do?
A1. Tell him how disgusted you feel about his action.
A2. Tell him how adorable he is, and that it is the adult’s fault for not reminding him to go to the toilet, or that his friends are too playful and caused him to forget himself.
A3. Tell him it is an accident and that it is ok but he must be observant to do better next time. Ask him to tell you more about how he missed going to the toilet in time, and advise him on how he could anticipate and mitigate undesirable outcomes next time.
Q4. Your two year old child is bitting children because she doesn’t want to share a toy. Three other children now have bite marks on their hands. What should you do?
A1. Apologise to the children and their parents and explain how fund of the toy she is.
A2. Accuse the other children of fighting with your child and provoking her.
A3. Show your child the bite marks on the other children and tell her that bitting hurts people. Ask her to apologise and use her words next time.
Q5. Your four year old child is having an argument with another child about who should have a toy. They seem to be using their words and are not about to get physical. What should you do?
A1. Observe them to determine if the conversation is fair and progressive; give them the opportunity to develop conflict resolution.
A2. Go over to them and ask them to break it up immediately because arguments leads to fights.
A3. Go over to them and ask the other child to let your child have the toy and they can have it when your child is done with it.
Q6. You are late for an event and your child doesn’t like the dress you have chosen for her. She wants another one which looks rather simple for the high profile event you are attending. What should you do?
A1. Tell her that no child of yours will make you feel less worthy amongst your friends.
A2. Bring out another dress as good as the one you picked for her and let her know she has a choice amongst selections.
A3. Let her have the dress she wants and explain to everyone that she wouldn’t listen to you.
Children who are brought up without reasoning are destructive to themselves and everybody else. These behaviour worsens in adulthood and the person who suffers the most is the adult they become.