As a Tustin preschool, we are aware that discipline is one of the hardest parts of child care, particularly when it is your own child. At Adventures in Learning, we practice positive discipline, which puts the focus on reinforcing good behaviors and discouraging bad behaviors, as opposed to calling the child good or bad. While discipline can be a frustrating experience, when it is done well, you can see improvements in behavior. Read on for our tips for practicing positive discipline.
Understand the behavior
When your child misbehaves, keep in mind that there is a reason for this. Children want to be good, and when they aren’t, identifying the reason will help you to address the issue. For example, your child might hit you because you have been ignoring them and they need attention. Knowing why they misbehave will help you understand your child more, and be more sympathetic to them when they misbehave.
Try to control yourself, not your child
When you are very frustrated with your child’s behavior, it is easy to lose your cool. When your child is misbehaving, focus on staying level-headed. Remember that your child watches your behavior and mimics it; if you yell, they will yell, and so forth. Model the behavior you want your child to exhibit by remaining calm. Yelling or hitting your child only escalates their behavior. If you find yourself too frustrated to remain calm, try taking a deep breath or walking away while you calm down.
Be clear with your expectations
Sometimes, children’s poor behavior can be explained by a lack of clear communication. When your child behaves in a way that you don’t like, explicitly tell them that the behavior is unacceptable. Do not let it go, hoping that they just will give up on the behavior; they won’t. Be consistent and clear what is bad behavior and what is good behavior, and your child will know when they are doing something wrong.
Give attention to good behavior
Children want attention, good or bad, which is sometimes the reason why they act up. Reward your child for behavior you do like with your attention; let them know when they are doing well. When they throw tantrums or whine, let it fall on deaf ears. When your child sees that they aren’t going to get the attention they desire with that behavior, they will find better ways to get your attention.
At Adventures in Learning, we are happy to help parents be the best parents they can be. When you are looking for a Tustin preschool, contact us!