“No! Don’t touch that! If I have to say it one more time…”
Do any of these outbursts sound familiar? If you are a parent, then yes they do. In fact, we say these things to our children all the time and expect better results, but unfortunately things usually get worse. Recently I read a book that really changed my perspective on what I say to my child.
Love and Logic Magic for Early Childhood: Practical Parenting from Birth to Six Years by Jim and Charles Fay is a great resource for parents who want to move out of the old rut and into a new way to discipline with love and respect. I actually did a short synopsis of each chapter on my Milk N’ Honey Learn and Grow blog, but here I would like to highlight some practical ideas that you can do today to improve your parenting and train your children to be respectful and responsible.
Instead of responding in anger to a situation, use empathy. Here’s an example:
Instead of “Stop throwing food off your tray” try “OK, that’s too bad you are throwing food off your tray, dinner is over.”
You don’t want to have to repeat yourself and end up getting angry. Also, give children choices, so you can share control like:
“Would you like raisins or bananas before you have another cracker?”
In this way you give choices that you are comfortable with, but also gives your child a chance to make decisions too.
And lastly, don’t wait until they are teenagers to start training, the time is NOW! Be sure to get your copy of Love and Logic so can you find great tips for a hassle free morning, putting an end to whining and learning the power of empathy.
Shonda and her husband have been married for 6 years, and they have an energetic and fun-loving one year old son. After teaching 12 years of Kindergarten, she is now a SAHM striving to healthy and holy. Shonda writes for Knowlton Nest (where she explores life as a mom, cooking, faith and organizing) and Milk n Honey Learn and Grow (her blog for teaching ideas).