Stay cool when kids push your buttons
THE DILEMMA: My kids play up constantly but I’m not sure how to get them to stop
ELISHA: We discipline our kids by taking away their special time which is a certain amount of time – usually 20 minutes – that we give our kids each day 100 per cent dedicated to what they want to do – distraction
DANI: We didn’t want to be parents who resort to bribery, but that is essentially our main form of discipline. It mostly works a treat although every now and then our daughter outsmarts us. What she loves most is watching Peter Rabbit. So if we threaten to prevent her from watching it, she’ll usually do as she’s asked. Every now and then when we try to bribe her, she decides that she doesn’t like Peter Rabbit anymore and carries on doing whatever it was we were trying to get her to stop.
The best discipline I find is to simply ignore our daughter. Generally she is seeking a reaction which, if she gets our attention, is an accidental reward.
DANI: One of the important things to remember about discipline is that children will model our behaviour. So however we treat them when we are mad is probably how they will treat others.
NICOLAS: Absolutely. The problem we have nowadays in society is that (men in particular) have only one emotion for all emotions which is angry. So when they are upset their response is anger. We encourage our daughter to embrace her emotions, be it angry, sad, tired, happy. And we talk her through them. I like to get down to her level and explain she is allowed to be sad, angry, hurt and talk through why she feels that way. I strongly disagree with people telling their children to “man up” “suck it up”, “get over it”.
DANI: I’m a big fan of saying “I’m very upset with you right now. I’m going to walk away and calm down and we can talk about this a bit later on.”