Behavioural Aids

Discipline

It is the one thing that is the most difficult to balance but without it, you find a child who is confused, attention seeking or both.
Discipline is order, self-control, it is not about punishment for no reason.  The term "discipline" comes from the Latin word "disciplinare," which means "to teach."  Many people, however, associate the word with punishment, which falls short of the full meaning of the word.  Discipline, properly practiced, uses a multi-faceted approach, including models, rewards, and punishments that teach and reinforce desired behavior. Through discipline, children are able to learn self-control, self-direction, competence, and a sense of caring.

This is the order in which we do it at The Little House (Montessori)
1. Stop the undesired action.
2. Explain to the child why it is undesirable.
3. Tell of the consequences to a similar action if it happens in future .  Consequences must be tangible, meaningful and be delivered immediately.
4. You must carry out the disciplinary action as soon as the undesired action occurs.  This may take place in the supermarket, the paediatrician's, or playground.  Children till the age of 6 will not understand, “I’ll give you a hiding later!”  When you do that, they may not remember when they were “naughty” and the association is lost.
5. In the calmest voice, deliver the disciplinary action.  We do not argue, nor do we bargain.  The deal was set when you first stopped your child.
6. The crying will stop as soon as they know that you are not wavering.  It is almost magical.

You may also want to visit this link:
Are Kids Different Today? Or the Parents?

Know the Two Kinds of Love:
SOFTLOVE AND FIRMLOVE

Steve Biddulph, author of The Secret of Happy Children

We love our kids. But love is more than just a warm feeling—it involves some skill. Family therapists recognise that parents need to have two core qualities. I call these softlove and firmlove. Both these kinds of love have to be activated in sufficient quantities in a parent’s make-up, so that children receive the right ingredients to thrive. They are both available in you, but you may need some help to awaken them.

What is Softlove?
Softlove is the ability to be relaxed, warm and affectionate. It is the ability to stop your brain racing around, to trust your instincts and to fend off the many pressures put on you from outside so that you can be there for your child. When you can relax and be yourself, your loving-ness will just naturally arise.

You don’t have to force softlove, but you do have to give it space to grow. Not everyone was raised with softlove, and so sometimes we find it hard to activate. If you had rather distant or aloof parents, then you may feel tense or uneasy, rather than relaxed and loving, when you are around babies or toddlers. As men and women rediscover softlove, then many things will change for the better.

What is Firmlove?
Firmlove is the ability to be kind but firm with kids—to make clear rules and back them up, without getting angry, without being weak and giving in. It’s the quality people speak of when they say, ‘That person has backbone.’

Many people are focused about love because they think it is always warm and gooey, For instance, a father, lends large amounts of money to his teenage daughter who ‘forgets’ to pay him back. This isn’t love—it’s just ‘sogginess’.  Firmlove means saying, ‘Of course I love you. And you owe me £30. So no more loans till you pay me back!’

Firmlove is strength with a loving intention, as apposed to being cold and hard. Good parents are firm with little children often, because they love them. Often this relates to safety—”I love you, and that’s why I won’t let you run off down the street.’ Or respect for others—’In this house people don’t hit each other.’

Good parents are willing to be tough with their kids because they know this will help them to have a happier life.

Finding the Balance
No one gets it right every time. Giving softlove and firmlove to your kids is always a matter of finding your way, finding the balance as you go along. A parent who is kind and firm says things like—’No, you are not going out in the rain and cold. How about looking for something interesting to do in the kitchen?’ They are aware of their child’s needs for activity—’I understand you are bored—I’ll help you find something to do.’ But they are clear in their decision—’You have to stay indoors when it’s wet.’

Understanding your Loving Style

Lots of parents have asked for a simple way to measure how they are doing—and how they can improve. This simple questionnaire can help you to understand the two kinds of love, and to make your parenthood a more positive experience.

Choose the number that best reflects your answer.

Softlove questions
1. I give my kids lots of hugs. I love to hold them and tell them how great they are.
Not at all.  1     2     3     4     5     Very much.

2. I am a peaceful kind of person. I don’t hurry. I can spend hours with my children just enjoying being together.
Not at all.  1     2     3     4     5     Very much.

Now total the two scores above and enter your softlove total here.

SOFTLOVE TOTAL _____

Firmlove questions
1. I can be clear, strong and set rules, and get my children to follow them. The kids know when I mean business and nearly always obey.
Not at all.  1     2     3     4     5     Very much.

2. I am calm and good humoured, so when I am being firm I don’t often get really angry. I certainly never lash out at or hit my kids.
Not at all.  1     2     3     4     5     Very much.

Now total the two scores above and enter your firmlove total here.

FIRMLOVE TOTAL _____

Now, enter your scores on the graph.

3. Draw lines across and down from your scores and mark where they meet. This is your loving style result.

4. Click HERE for the explanation of results.

5. You may also visit www.parentingscience.com for more on parenting tips.

Please click here to read an article on DISCIPLINE.