Cre­ative par­ent­ing

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - PARENTING - By ROBERT NICK­ELL

AS a par­ent, I know that for ev­ery bit of fun and en­joy­ment to be had with chil­dren around, there’s al­ways the pos­si­bil­ity of con­se­quences and nec­es­sary dis­ci­pline, too. It’s the par­ent’s re­spon­si­bil­ity to teach their chil­dren right from wrong, as well as how to be­have and how to treat oth­ers. I know – it’s a big job!

With my kids rang­ing in age from eight months to 27 years old, I’ve learned a thing or two about be­ing cre­ative when it comes to con­se­quences and dis­ci­pline.

Mo­ti­vate pos­i­tively

You can try to steer your chil­dren in the right di­rec­tion to avoid some un­nec­es­sary (and not-so-fun) con­se­quences and dis­ci­plinary ac­tions sim­ply by mo­ti­vat­ing them pos­i­tively with some sort of re­ward sys­tem.

Sticker charts are great as are coin jars and other sim­i­lar items. With this idea, you’ll be able to dis­cuss be­hav­iours and ex­pec­ta­tions early on, and your child will know ex­actly what they’ll need to do in or­der to earn a sticker.

Con­se­quence jar

Just as your chil­dren will be able to have a sticker to their sticker chart for be­hav­ing well, they might also have to draw a Pop­si­cle stick from the con­se­quence jar when they mis­be­have.

Some ideas for this jar in­clude early bed­time, no tele­vi­sion for a night, an ex­tra chore and time­out. With this method, your child is essen­tially choos­ing his or her own con­se­quence and you’ll be around for the fol­low through.

Let them de­cide

By bring­ing your child into the con­ver­sa­tion and let­ting them help de­ter­mine their con­se­quence, they’ll be able to fully con­tem­plate the sever­ity of their ac­tions as well as brain­storm what kinds of con­se­quences would be equiv­a­lent to those poor or neg­a­tive ac­tions and be­hav­iours.

Writ­ing up a be­hav­iour con­tract and hav­ing your child sign it once you de­cide upon a con­se­quence you both find suit­able, is also a great ac­tiv­ity and pos­si­bly a bit of a con­se­quence in it­self.

Af­ter your child sits and thinks about what they did wrong, determines what their con­se­quence will be and then writes the whole thing out to sign, they’ll likely have a whole new out­look and cer­tainly won’t be con­fused about what they did wrong in the first place.

Teach­ing your chil­dren how they’re ex­pected to be­have on a day-to-day ba­sis is dif­fi­cult, and chances are you’ll have to dis­ci­pline your chil­dren for their ac­tions a time or two be­fore they fig­ure things out. – McClatchy Tri­bune In­for­ma­tion Ser­vices

Robert Nick­ell, a fa­ther of seven, is the founder of Dad­, where he writes about par­ent­ing and the lat­est ba­bies’ and kids’ gear from a dad’s per­spec­tive.

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