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Beyond Time-Out: Discipline Alternatives for Preschoolers. Melissa Johnson, Ph.D. WakeMed. Goals of discipline for preschoolers. Ensure child’s safety and health Maintain a pleasant and orderly atmosphere and environment Teach child appropriate patterns of behavior

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Presentation Transcript
goals of discipline for preschoolers
Goals of discipline for preschoolers

Ensure child’s safety and health

Maintain a pleasant and orderly atmosphere and environment

Teach child appropriate patterns of behavior

Develop character/moral values

Where are you in this hierarchy? Think about short and long-term goals.

factors that impact preschoolers behavior
Factors that impact preschoolers’ behavior
  • Health and physical well-being (sleep, hunger, illness)
  • Temperament (easy, difficult, slow-to-warm-up, spirited)
  • Developmental level (social-emotional, cognitive, language, motor skills)
  • Environmental structure and routines
  • Family relationships and atmosphere
  • Child’s need for attention, power, sympathy
  • Discipline
discipline pitfalls
Discipline pitfalls
  • One approach to everything (time-out, spanking, rewards)
  • Too many words
  • Backing off / giving in
  • Waiting until you explode
  • Unclear rules and goals
  • Inappropriate expectations
  • Forgetting to have fun
discipline that works is
Discipline that works is...
  • Flexible- adapts to child and situation
  • Logical- fits the misbehavior, child learns something
  • Is under YOUR control
thinking process
Thinking process...
  • Do I need to discipline at all? (ignoring, prevention, distraction, meeting physical needs, reassurance, firmness/broken record)
  • If yes… -many options!
natural consequences
Natural Consequences
  • Allow the child to experience the natural consequences of his behavior
using natural consequence
Using natural consequence
  • Is it safe?
  • Can you live with it?
  • Do you have enough control over it?
  • Will the child learn from it?
logical consequences
Logical Consequences
  • Set up a consequence that is…

logically related to the behavior

under your control

the child DOESN’T want to happen

will teach the child something, if possible!

time out
Time-Out
  • One option among many logical consequences!
    • To make it work: Don’t overuse Pick a boring place with clear boundaries Use a timer Work on Time-In relationship
making time in better
Making “Time-In” Better
  • Communication strategies
    • Active listening
    • Quiet listening
    • Pick your time and place
  • Floortime
an ounce of prevention
An Ounce of Prevention
  • Routines and structure
  • Catch ’em being good
  • “Star charts” and other planned rewards: celebrations vs. bribes
a few don ts
A few don’ts
  • DON’T beat up on yourself
  • DON’T expect perfection in either you or your child
  • DON’T blame your spouse for their imperfections
  • DON’T resolve to be perfect today
  • DON’T forget to time yourself out if you are losing it
  • DON’T try to do it all alone