Sunday, August 17, 2008

Discipline toolkits for parents

Bringing up baby to be a responsible, discipline-loving and responsive child isn't easy.

Babycenter provides an interesting and useful article that spells out what parents can do with infants and upwards entitled "The discipline toolkit - successful strategies at every age". Very worth your 10 minutes to read!

E and I started implementing the Naughty Corner, and it seems to be working.

For first-time parents or parents-to-be who have not been watching prime time free TV, the Naughty Corner is made famous by Supernanny Jo Frost, to stem children's undesirable or dangerous behavior.

The idea is simple:
1. Firmly and calmly explain to a misbehaving child that you do not want to see the behavior being repeated - for example something like touching the oven or turning the gas knobs on the cooker.
2. If the child persists after a number of warnings, move the child to an area designated as the "Naughty Spot" and explain calmly that he has to stay there (for children under 3, no more than 1 minute or less) until Daddy or Mommy comes back.
3. Afterwards, approach the child and lovingly explain why he had to stay there.

The first couple of times we implemented this, the boy ended up in a pool of tears and would constantly get up and run towards either of us the minute we set him down, even though we'd explain why he must stay there for 1 minute. But we steeled ourselves one day and just continued placing him back in the spot, each time explaining why, until he eventually stayed there for the full minute.

Ever since then, we've really only needed to send him into the naughty spot a couple of times. Mostly, he understood when we really didn't want him to do something when we said "If you do this again, you will have to go to the naughty corner." Otherwise, he would stay there until either E or I went to him again.

The good thing about this I find is that the minute he gets allows him to cool off from a tantrum, and gives me time to cool my head too, like a kind of time-out for both parent and child...

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