Yellow Card Discipline and Setting Boundaries
Tonight’s Objectives • Understand that testing limits is a natural human behavior • Develop skills and recognize that conflict/resolution must take place • Recognize patterns that are effective or ineffective in promoting self-discipline in children
Do you find yourself… • exceeding the speed limit by a couple MPH, thinking you can get by without getting caught? • lying in bed until the very last minute, and then having to rush frantically not to be late? • taking your checkbook down to the last dollar?
Testing limits is a natural part of being human. Even as adults, we have a tendency to resist or test limits in our own daily lives.
Testing limits - a natural part of childhood • Test to see where the limits are in their world • Provide children with a sense of boundaries and security • Children learn and develop by making mistakes • For parents, these experiences are the most frustrating and concerning times
Think About Your Own Childhood • How was discipline carried out in your family? • How did this feel to you as a child? • Were your parents’ discipline styles similar or very different? How did this feel? • Are you disciplining your child(ren) in a style similar to that in your childhood? • Are there methods of disciplining your children you want to change, and if so, what?
Parents need to have options in discipline techniques • Must be appropriate for parenting style • Must be appropriate for welfare of child • Must be appropriate for the situation • Must be comfortable for the parent
“Discipline” and “Punishment” have entirely different meanings. Webster’s definition of discipline: “training or experiences that correct, mold or strengthen”
The purpose of discipline shouldbe to teach children to make wisechoices about their behaviorand to become self-disciplined,rather than to punish.
Children Want Boundaries Rules and boundaries help children make sense out of their world. They welcome boundaries and feel safe within them, but don’t want to admit that. To function in the world beyond the home, they must first learn to function within an environment of family boundaries.
During discipline, what do we need? Needs of Child Needs of Parent Feel heard and understood Feel loved by the child Be treated with respect and dignity Be able to make mistakes Be able to feel in control of self Feel capable of helping child learn appropriate behaviors Feel supported in our setting limits Be able to bring about change in child’s behavior Be able to relax and enjoy the child • Feel heard and understood • Be loved unconditionally • Be treated with respect and dignity • Know it’s okay to make a mistake • Be able to learn from mistakes • Feel a sense of power • Learn to work within rules and boundaries • Learn problem-solving skills, decision making and alternative behaviors • Experience reasonable consequences
What makes discipline so hard? Consistency regularity and sameness, but not rigidity • Over time, on a daily basis • Between parents, same rules • Between children, allow for differences in ages and abilities, but similar rules • In behaviors of the parent(s) • In our messages, to reflect our expectations
Acknowledge FeelingsCommunicate LimitsTarget Two ChoicesFrom Play Therapy: the Art of the Relationship by Garry L. Landreth
Tips for Effective Discipline • React with thought, rather than emotion • Involve children in establishing rules and consequences (Children are less likely to break rules they have helped establish.) • Set clear boundaries and explain why (Sometimes it’s okay to just say, “No”.) • Have reasonable expectations for child’s behaviors • Acknowledge feelings (yours and child’s) • Be consistent
Steps in Setting Limits • Begin with praise; be positive. Provide 4 statements of praise/encouragement for each negative statement. • Discuss expectations at a neutral time. Involve child in establishing rules and consequences. • Check for understanding. • Be firm, calm and consistent.
Ineffective discipline techniques • Nagging, lecturing, talking too much Creates anger, trains child to tune us out • Bribing Teaches child he should be rewarded for everything he does • Comparing children Creates resentment; teaches he is not as good as someone else • Threatening If not consistently carried through, teaches we don’t really mean what we say • Harsh physical punishment Usually when parent is out of control, teaches child to lash out at others; destroys self-esteem; creates parent/child relationship of fear and hostility
Role Plays • Jill dawdles in the morning and makes everyone else in the family late for school and work. By the time you leave the house, everyone is angry and in a bad mood. • Molly forgot to bring her spelling list home and she has a test tomorrow. This seems to happen every week. • Andy’s teacher called to report that he has become the class clown at school and that his grades have taken a significant drop. • Christopher stops to play at a friend’s house after school and doesn’t notify you. This has happeded several times.
Consider this: • Behavior often reflects a basic need of the child. Try to understand what is motivating his behavior. • Stress and outside influences can affect behavior. Be sensitive to what is happening in your family and the child’s life outside the family. • Seek professional assistance when effective discipline techniques are not working.