As the years progress, children get to know you, your weaknesses and almost everything about how you react. They can expertly use what works to get what they want. That’s not always the case. Of course, there are times when they genuinely don’t know how to cope with intense feelings and emotions. That is when they need discipline. Here are five ways you can cope with discipline problems.
This is experienced by a toddler from the ages 2 to 4 years old. When young children have intense feelings that they can’t express with words, they express it through tantrums. It usually happens if your child is overtired or hungry.
Way to cope: avoid tantrums by making sure your child’s basic needs are met. Don’t panic, instead be firm and don’t give in to whatever it is they want at the time.
This is almost the first word children learn to say with assertiveness. Children want some sense of power and so, if you ask them open ended questions, the answer is most likely going to be NO.
Way to cope: Give them choices that appear to give them a sense of power. Instead of “can you eat your breakfast?” Ask “would you like eggs or pancakes?”
As children learn to speak, they also learn that sometimes whining will help them get what they want.
Way to cope: tell them you can’t understand if they whine. “Speak to me in your normal voice please”.
Your child may constantly offer reason and logic for doing or not doing something you ask them to do or not to do.
Way to cope: hear them out, and then respond with compassion that “it can’t be done, sorry”.
Way to cope: Offer explanations to your request. Resort to punishment if an explanation still doesn’t work. Punishment is best if it is withholding something the child enjoys, such as T.V., time on the computer, or time using their iPad.