Jun 5, 2012

Are your kids listening to you?

Often the parents who complain most about their kids are the ones who have not set rules and codes of behavior. Right from the crib a child learns that when he cries in his crib, someone picks him up and hugs him and feeds him. Of course I’m not saying that you should leave your child in the crib to cry his lungs out, but when he is fed, has had a bath, and his diaper is clean, you can put him down in his crib. As he begins to walk and talk the lessons start, imperceptibly, with simple things like having him or her say, thank you, mummy, and having him repeat it.

How you and your partner interact at home, the kids subconsciously take note. What the parent does, the child will emulate. If you swear at home the child will learn these words also and hurl your own words back at you. Discipline does not work if the parents teach one way, and they themselves break the rules by swearing at each other at home. You are not a good pair then for the kids and the calmer of the two must bring order when there is a dispute over anything. In some homes the kids want to complain to their father, not their mother. Is that wrong? No, whoever has the right temperament and the right sense of justice should handle the complaints.

Teaching a child discipline starts right from the beginning.

• He learns to pick up his toys before going to bed. It can be a fun exercise when the two of you pick up the toys and pack them in the right place.

• He learns potty training in the bathroom where it is quiet and he can’t be distracted; he must learn to close the door without banging it. When he is finished he must learn to wipe himself. This will take a week or two if you support him by regularly putting him on the potty until he has got the hang of it.

• Some children are fascinated with what comes out of them and you should not be surprised when you come into the bathroom and see his handiwork on the wall. Do not shout at him.

• Learn not to scream at your kids when they do something wrong; that is only to appease your anger and does not in any way help them. Tell the child nicely when you want to reprimand him for something that he did wrong. He must know what he is being punished for. How you speak to the child now, is how the child will speak to his kids when he becomes a parent.

• Disciplining a child is easy when you do it with love and with patience and do not change your pattern every day. In their hearts kids want stability although they don’t know it themselves. Not yet, until they become parents themselves.


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