How to avoid having obnoxious children – use discipline!
The new ideas that children can be taught to behave by using emotional abuse on them, is just shifting parents from one “abuse” to another – from physical abuse to mental abuse. How to discipline children and practise the idea of doing no harm to them, is a truly tricky problem.
I’m old fashioned, but here are some thoughts.
Small children have to learn how to behave in society. When behaving in non acceptable ways here are some options for quick and easy training taken from observing how most animals train their offspring.
First option – Distraction
Second option – NO! (in an IMPORTANT voice – with quieter explanation why not)
Third option – SMACK (followed by leaving the crime scene and offering pleasing distraction/hugs)
Do NOT use confusing emotional abuse like –
make child sit on stairs
make child take “time out”
make child go to bed without supper
(or any other spitefulness)
In praise of smacks
A smack is instantaneous, focused, over in a flash, preemptive, and a completely understandable non verbal communication used by all animals for behaviour training.
NB – A smack is NOT a beating.
In the Furlong household we used the “democracy” method (below) as soon as our children could understand it. In a family meeting everyone could input ideas or complaints. We had five children and two adults at out meetings. Sometimes they were quite pandamonious! Always there was lots of love, physical hugs and verbal rewarding. It worked for us. Not sure what our kids think, but they all turned out great.
See bottom of the page on Mumsnet advice sharing page (link below) for a modern person using the same idea…….
(suitable from age two upwards)
- Decide what behaviour you are trying to change and a reasonable target to achieve: ‘I want my child to stop using that whining voice for everything.’ ‘I want my child not to leave the table at teatime.’
- Have a very formal family meeting. Set it up around the table, with paper and pens. Get the whole family involved (even if that means just you and your two year old). Explain that this particular behaviour is unacceptable because . . . Tell them because of that, from right now, it isn’t to happen again. Write down the aim for the family and ask everyone to sign it, even the little ones.
- Agree the process: ‘If you whine when you want something, I won’t be able to get it for you and we’ll have to wait until you ask nicely.’ ‘When I say that tea is ready, you will sit at your place until you’ve finished your meal and then ask to get down.’
- Agree the reward: ‘If you manage to sit at the table nicely and ask to get down when you’ve finished, then you will get a sticker on your chart or a small prize.’
- Get them to buy in. Ask your child if he understands, then write it all on a Post-it and stick it on the fridge. You can then constantly refer to it: ‘Do you remember?’