Who is a well-behaved child? She is the type who doesn't get into a lot of trouble, hindi sobrang kulit, follows the rules and instructions, and doesn’t cause too much stress and headache. She is every parent’s dream!
In reality, of course, your little angel can get into a lot of unruly behavior. It's cute -- in the beginning -- but you don't want to get that point when it stops being adorable. She needs to learn how to define and control her emotions. Here are a few discipline techniques you can try:
1. Make the rules clear. “Bad behavior” can simply be your child not knowing that a particular behavior isn’t appropriate. Keep in mind that your child is not a tiny adult -- she's still figuring out how the world works. She needs rules and structure to tell her how to behave, like how it’s not good to shout during mass, for example. Giving her rules and limits will guide her on what behavior you expect of her.
Keep your rules simple and easy to understand, and only give a few depending on the situation. “It's likely to take a lot of repetition before your preschooler fully understands and remembers the rules. Even then, she's probably not mature enough to obey every rule, every time,” said BabyCenter. So, be patient. Remember that consistency is key to effective discipline.
2. Comment on good behavior. Positive reinforcements like giving praises and small rewards also work in letting your child know how to behave. Plus, it makes your little kiddo feel happy as well!
Preschool directress Sharon Alfonso told Smart Parenting that stickers and stamps work wonders for children. So, how do you use them? You want your preschooler to eat his veggies or clean up his toys after playtime. Every time he does it give a sticker as a reward. And if he doesn't, you can give a “sad face” stamp. Make a chart where you can place the sticker or stamp so you and your child can both track his progress.
3. Give gentle reminders. Being consistent with monitoring your child’s behavior will turn good ones into a habit. Gentle reminders will help your child stick to the rules and remember them. Take a cue from preschool teachers and turn your rules into kid-friendly phrases and codes.
Junior nursery teacher Anna Cordero says “loving hands!” to remind kids not to push or hit. She introduced the catchphrase after telling a story on how hands can either be used to hug people and make them happy or hurt people and make them sad. Use it at home. Other phrases you can try include “sharing is caring” for kids who have trouble with taking turns and sharing and “indoor voice” for whenever your preschooler shouts.
4. Teach natural consequences. “It is much more meaningful for a child to see what happens when he makes a bad choice, in a safe way, than to choose a punishment that has nothing to do with the poor behavior,” said pediatrician Dr. Ari Brown, the co-author of the “411” parenting book series and Parents advisor.
A child who is mean to a playmate means he has to take a break from the playground. Breaking screen time rules could mean he will not be allowed to use the gadget for the rest of the day. For children 7 years old and younger, the consequence should be done right after the misbehavior for him to connect the two things, advised the American Academy of Pediatrics.
5. Keep calm and, in some cases, ignore. We want our children to copy our good traits, not our bad ones. When you’re angry at his misbehavior, remember to keep calm. Being able to keep your cool shows him that he should -- and can -- do the same when he’s frustrated as well.
It is especially true in instances where you know that your child is behaving badly only to get a reaction from you, like if your child loves to interrupt you when you’re talking with an adult. “I know it can be hard to disengage, but if it isn't a serious offense, just ignore it. Kids will do many things in the name of getting your attention. If your child doesn't get a rise out of you, she will probably stop doing it,” said Dr. Brown.