Keep it age-ap­pro­pri­ate

Young Parents (Singapore) - - The Discipline Issue -

mak­ing it work

Not ev­ery strat­egy works on this age group. For in­stance, there’s no way a tot will learn any­thing from lengthy lec­tures or rea­son­ing, says con­sul­tant psy­chol­o­gist Donus Loh.

An­other strat­egy that may not work is the use of bound­ary-based dis­ci­pline, which oc­ca­sion­ally in­cludes the use of time-outs. This may be ef­fec­tive in re­duc­ing mis­be­haviour in older preschool­ers, but not for younger tod­dlers, says Dr Tzuo PeiWen Sophia, of Emile Preschool.

“While you may get a more im­me­di­ate out­come with this dis­ci­pline strat­egy, I would ad­vise us­ing it only as a last re­sort be­cause younger chil­dren may not be able to in­ter­nalise the sit­u­a­tion,” she adds.

For emo­tion coach­ing to work well, the child re­quires a cer­tain level of ma­tu­rity and range of vo­cab­u­lary, which a tod­dler may not have.

The bot­tom line: Don’t bank on one dis­ci­pline method. The best strat­egy, Donus says, would be to blend the var­i­ous dis­ci­pline tech­niques, de­pend­ing on the sit­u­a­tion, en­vi­ron­ment as well as both you and your child’s tem­per­a­ment. form of dis­ci­pline tac­tic, and have even re­vealed that overly-fre­quent spank­ing is detri­men­tal and can even worsen chil­dren’s mis­be­haviour,” Dr Tzuo says.

Donus adds that good dis­ci­plinary tech­niques should help your child learn about the rights and wrongs of cer­tain types of be­hav­iour. This in­volves truly un­der­stand­ing why your tod­dler is be­hav­ing the way she is, then teach­ing her other pos­i­tive ways to achieve what she wants as well as the neg­a­tive con­se­quences of her mis­be­haviour.

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