Correcting Children has not been a cup of tea
Have you ever been the uncomfortable observer of a parent trying to control a 3-year-old in the grocery store line? Maybe you were the parent! I know I have been on more than one occasion. One of the most common mistakes we parents make is to threaten and repeat to our children. Sometimes I hear myself talking to my kids and realize, I am nagging.
When I hear myself say, “I already told you once” or “What did I just say?” I realize I am THAT parent! I have to give myself this little pep talk: “Say what you mean and mean what you say. If you are not going to follow through on that threat then just remain silent. At least your child will still believe you mean what you say!”
I have realized that making a habit of giving multiple “chances” only makes me look bad and makes my kid a gambler! “How many times can I do this before Mom actually sends me to my room?” Sometimes they know I’m not going to follow through. It’s not easy to make them follow the rules.
When it comes to discipline one mistake I have made in the past was not knowing what the consequence for a particular action would be. I solved this problem by deciding ahead of time what I will do whenever my child commits a various offense.
Sounds crazy, but it works – I created a “Consequence Chart” that I keep hanging in clear view for my children to see. This way they can “choose” to do right or “choose” to receive a pre-determined correction. Easy peasy. Here is MY chart, these work for my family, however… I suggest you create consequences that work for your situation.
I want my kids to have critical thinking skills
Yes, I do want my children to learn to think for themselves. I don’t want them to blindly obey. There will be time for autonomous thought once they grow up safely, at least enough to obey when I yell “STOP” before they run out into the street after a runaway ball.
Another post you might enjoy is Mindfulness for Parents – one of the best books I’ve read on parenting.