Posts Tagged ‘child development’

Natural consequences are pretty simple if your child has done something that they were not supposed to do. It can be difficult to figure out what to do when they failed at something they should have done, like chores. It can be tempting to just take away TV time, but this approach will need a little bit of fine tuning. When you tell your child, “If you do not sort the laundry, then the will be no TV.” the connection between doing the chore and no TV is not apparent. Using the phrase, “If you do not…” makes it sound like a threat, so they will think that the point is to make them pay for not doing what you asked. However, you can turn it into a logical consequence by saying, “When you have finished sorting the laundry then you may watch TV.” By putting it this way you get the principle across that you would probably like your kids to live by. Do what you have to do before you do what you want to do. Your child may end up missing their favorite show that night and not be able to talk about it with his friends the next day, but once he has finished his chore he will see the natural consequence of enjoying a fun activity more because there is no chore hanging over his head. Another thing that you can emphasize is that with privilege comes responsibility. Our family rule is that all toys must be where they belong at the end of the day and any toy left laying around could be headed to the garbage. If you do not want to be that drastic, you can just take it and put it in a box in another room and return them when your child shows he can clean up his other toys. This is not only effective for material privileges, but also for the non tangible ones. If your child can not handle the responsibility of playing nicely with his brothers and sisters, then he loses the privilege of playing with them. When he does not speak to you respectfully, then he does not get the privilege of being listened to. Instead of saying, “Don’t you dare speak to me that way.” Calmly tell him when he is ready to speak respectfully, then I will be in my room. This technique is just as powerful when your child does something right. My son asked if he could play his video games for 10 minutes before we had to leave. I decided to give him a chance, and told him that if he held up his end of the bargain that I would let him do it in the future. To my surprise when it was time to go, he turned his game off and put his shoes on. It has now become routine around our house. Parents often overlook the simplest strategies: Tell the truth. If your child has been misbehaving all day and asks if we could go out for ice cream, say what you are thinking. I really don’t like taking you for ice cream. The lesson here is when you do wrong to people, they are unlikely to go above and beyond for you. See our post on using the 3 R’s.

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A consequence is most likely to teach a useful lesson when it is related, respectful and reasonable.

Related of course, is the exact opposite of random. So that means if your child makes a mess, then the consequence should be that he has to clean it up (not that he can’t play on your phone).

Respectful means that the consequence does not involve shame or humiliation. Your child already feels bad enough when they do something wrong. If you say things like, “I told you so,” or if you shame them afterward, you will lessen the potential learning because he will stop processing the experience and instead focus on the blame. When my 7-year-old David wanted to take his favorite superhero ski mask to the library, I knew it was a bad idea. I reminded him that it was warm outside and that I would not hold it for him. But he just says, “Do not worry, I will take care of it.” So he brought the mask and continued to lose it. It was very tempting to say, “I told you not to bring that mask!” But I could already see that he knew he had made a mistake and was very disappointed. Instead, we helped him retrace his steps in hopes of finding the mask. When the mask did not turn up, we agreed to take him to the store another day and he would contribute his allowance to the cost of buying a replacement. By staying calm and choosing words wisely, he learned a valuable lesson about being responsible for his things, and his choices.

Reasonable implies that the consequences should be something that your child can handle. Take into consideration their age and know how and that it is proportionate to the misbehavior. This will help them concentrate on what they have done rather than being mad at you. If your 3-year-old is clowning around and knocks over a gallon of milk, do not expect him to mop up the entire floor by himself in order to drive your point home. Instead, wipe up the spill together. If he refuses, gently put your hand on top of his and physically do the motion with him. If he is screaming uncontrollably, you can hold them until at least part of the mess is cleaned up. When his crying stops and you feel his muscles relaxing, praise him for being able to calm down and just move on. An older child might give you back talk instead of having a total meltdown, but resist the urge to get angry or let him weasel out of things. You can help defuse the arguments by mentioning a consequence ahead of time (“I have noticed a lot of gum wrappers laying around the house, please put the wrapper in the garbage or the consequence will be no more gum”). When the advanced warning is not given or not possible, help him brainstorm solutions for a problem he has gotten himself into. For example, you might say, “You must be upset that you forgot that your project is due tomorrow. I understand that you would like me to go and buy you those materials now, but it is late and I am not willing to do that. Do you need help figuring out something you can make with the supplies that we do have.”

Check out our past posts on Discipline. Leave us your comments. Your feedback is greatly appreciated. Let us know what other topics you would like to have discussed. Share this post with your family and friends. Remember to always praise your child.

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Let your child learn their lessons from natural consequences of their own actions. You can prevent many power struggles without being the bad guy.

When I was a child the word “discipline” meant that I was getting one of my favorite things taken away by my parents for misbehaving. If I hit my brother, NO TV for a week. If I did not do my chores, NO trip to the mall. Not only was this the method in my house, but in the home of everyone else I knew. This classic approach of discipline can make kids cooperate in the short term, it is not the best way to teach life long lessons. Kids do not learn when they are feeling threatened. Your child may go along with your demands because they are afraid of what will happen if they do not, rather than because they have grasped anything about right and wrong.

Let your kids experience the natural consequences of their actions. If your child does not wear a jacket, let them be cold. The next time you probably will not have to fight over it. Logical consequences entail more adult involvement, but they are also connected to the misbehavior. If your child runs out in the middle of the street, then they must hold your hand for the rest of the walk. It is this connection that helps a child understand and learn from their actions.

Sounds real easy, right? Not so fast. I thought so too. That is until my kids did something that did not seem to have natural consequences. What is the outcome of having to nag your child 30 times in order for them to do their chores? Or the refusal to wear nothing but a birthday suit to daycare on a hot day? They can not do the trick every time, but they do work in more situations than you realize. In our next post we will cover tips for getting better behavior now and in the future. Leave us your comments. Your feedback is greatly appreciated. Let us know what other topics you would like to have discussed. Share this post with your family and friends. Remember to always praise your child.

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Children learn best when they are surrounded by students with similar passions. If a kid is into robotics they can have a discussion with someone who also likes this. Your school may not have the resources to group kids in these ways. It will be up to you to be proactive. Try setting up book clubs or signing up for special interest after school activities with children who share in the same hobby. This strategy is especially beneficial for students in districts that do not employ the small group learning approach.  Leave us your comments. Your feedback is greatly appreciated. Let us know what other topics you would like to have discussed. Share this post with your family and friends. Remember to always praise your child.

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Reconnecting

If you do think that your child has not been placed in the right group, then set up a meeting with the teacher to express your concerns. There are a wide range of assessments that should be being used to gauge the learning levels. Have the teacher walk you through the analysis and this should clear up any confusion. If you still believe that your child has not been properly placed, then this gives you an opening to push for a change. Leave us your comments. Your feedback is greatly appreciated. Let us know what other topics you would like to have discussed. Share this post with your family and friends. Remember to always praise your child.

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Even if your child’s school takes steps to mask the fact that learning groups are tied to achievement, kids usually know exactly where they stand. If your child does ask about their level, respond something similar to these lines:

“Your group works at a speed that your teacher thinks will work well for you.” Regardless of what group they are assigned to, look for the signs of progress and be sure to offer praise when you see it. Unless it is recommended by your child’s teacher, hold off on the tutoring. Pushing a student to do advanced math before they are developmentally ready can end up backfiring on you. Young children need to master skills at their own pace and often come into their own academically in middle school. Leave us your comments. Your feedback is greatly appreciated. Let us know what other topics you would like to have discussed. Share this post with your family and friends. Remember to always praise your child.

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Groups

Talk to your child’s teacher about how the classroom is set up. Does the school support kids of all different abilities and what steps do they use to determine them? If the groups are set for an entire year it could be a red flag that the program does not allow children to grow.

Embrace a Strengths and Challenges Outlook

Your child will likely excel at some skills and labor with other ones. Often a child learns the most in a class where they struggle and not where they naturally excel. Leave us your comments. Your feedback is greatly appreciated. Let us know what other topics you would like to have discussed. Share this post with your family and friends. Remember to always praise your child.

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