Thursday, December 17, 2020

Spank The CHILD or CONNECT With The Child?

 Disciplining a child is one of the responsibilities of parenting. Every parent owns a child proper upbringing to prepare him/her for the world ahead of. Limits and boundaries are essential frame for freedom and creativity as well as matured humans.

It has been observed that children learn freedom only when it is clear and has reasonable limits. Otherwise, they get out of hands or don't feel safe; they become to feel out of control. Although, modern days parents adopt permissive parenting to show how much they love and don't want to control their children, but children feel taken care of when they know when to stop because they have been told what the limits are.  They want to know parents can keep them safe even when they battle. 

They are exploring a big place, the world around them, so much to learn, so much to figure out, emotions to regulate, to figure out their needs being met, how things work, testing their own power, and lots more; it is so much! So much is really going on in their tiny heads, which they cannot solely do on their own, they need guidelines, they need to feel safe, they need an adult who is willing to give proper discipline; limits and boundaries. This gives them security and COMFORT; they know they are not on their own. The rein reinforcement is needed deep down. 

But what happens if it gets out of hand? 

Yes, there are consequences in every actions, there are teachable moments, these moments are when parents need to provide children with foundation to LEARN and GROW as a person on different level. What should parents go for, SPANK or CONNECT?

Conscious discipline. It is important to provide children with tools that they need to have a happy and healthy life. Parenting has changed since the time of our own childhoods, and we have access to more resources and information about parenting than our own parents, but not too much has really changed. The positive impactful discipline that has been known to support both the parents and children for decades is CONSCIOUS DISCIPLINE.

Conscious discipline is an evidence-based, trauma-informed approach. That is, it is keeping in mind the and recognizing social-emotional well being of the child, to help regulate and manage emotions in order to make safe and HEALTHY choices. This means that the parents first need to be aware of their own emotions, focus on CONNECTING with the child, instead of being dismissive or responding with anger., to be PRESENT at the MOMENT, and then work through the feelings together. 

Dr. Becky Bailey, author, educator, and creator of Conscious Discipline, discusses how us parents need to RETHINK discipline and control ourselves first before dealing with our child's behavior.

Based on researches on human brain and child development, it has been observed that Conscious Discipline, here are few ways this approach helps:

  • Limit power struggles
  • Defiance
  • Minimize or eliminate verbal attacks
  • Avoid bullying
  • Stops physical aggression
  • Reduces difficulty in keeping children on a task.
It helps take the frustration and feelings of powerless out of our every day parenting and turns them into TEACHABLE MOMENTS. Using the following skills

  1.  Composure
  2. Encouragement
  3. Assertiveness
  4. Choices
  5. Empathy
  6. Positive intent
  7. Consequences
This will help provide compassion and connection, and we will model these skills in our children if we adopt them. This will not only make parents and children feel better and learn from teachable moments, it will also PROVIDE our children with foundation to learn and DEVELOP as humans. Creating a SAFE PLAC.

Ways to try these strategies include:
  • Model the behavior you would like to see by displaying self-control during difficult moments, especially when triggered by your child.
  • Take the time to understand the DEVELOPMENTAL stage that your child is in, so you can CONSIDER how his/her perspective feels.
  • Accommodate the child, and tell him/her what should be done in a clear way rather than focusing on what they should not do( example, refrain from giving directions that starts with don't, stop, or NO)
  • When they appear not to listen, instead of yelling, go to them and instead make eye contact to form connection.
  • When they act bossy or unkind to others, always give your attention to the victim first to EMPOWER them learn how to deal with the situation. Then turn to the child who is acting unkindly and HELP him/her practice clear limits and how to COMMUNICATE in a more helpful way.
Keep in mind that they grow over time, try as much as possible to maintain CALMNESS.

I hope this helps you and your family. Thank you!

Refer to Conscious parenting website for more information

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