As parents we use a variety of discipline techniques when it comes to correcting our children. However, many times in my household I find myself yelling or getting frustrated that my ordinary means of discipline seems less then effective. So I began to put into practice some of the more unique discipline techniques that I had forgotten about. These are ideas that I have either used in a preschool setting with great success or in my own household. To my surprise many of them seem to be working.
The following are just some “creative” means of getting your child’s attention when you think you’re at the end of your rope!
Nothing gets a child’s attention quicker when they are out of control then speaking to them in a whisper. Now obviously this usually works well in a group setting because as soon as some of the kids catch onto your very soft talking it catches the other children’s attention too. They then become focused intently on your whisper in order to hear what exactly you’re trying to tell them. This can also be used on individual children too. Especially if you have a tendency to yell, whispering certainly catches them off guard.
- Act the way your child is acting
This method can be downright hilarious because it literally stops your child in their tracks. The object is that usually everyone ends up laughing at how ridiculous you both are behaving. You can then reinforce proper behavior once the tantrum/screaming/stomping fit has come to a stop. Nothing throws a kid off like their own parent on the floor screaming and kicking to mimic a temper tantrum!
- Give a child an activity as a punishment
Sometimes a time out gets old or a child continues to cry/scream etc. while serving the timeout. Another way of serving time out is to give an activity that must be completed while your child is sitting. For example, a small puzzle, a handwriting worksheet, folding socks or towels, a coloring sheet and so on. The activity redirects the child to a more postive activity in an allotted amount of time. It also give them a few minutes to calm down and get control.
- Remove your child out of your view while in the midst of a temper tantrum
The whole point of screaming, crying, stomping, kicking or whatever is all for your benefit. If a child has no audience to view such nonsense then really what is the point of it all? Many times I will tell my kids they have to go into their rooms, downstairs, into the garage or even outside until they are done with their fit. This almost always stops it immediately. Outside is especially good because they become aware, especially if you have neighbors, that other people are going to hear them being ridiculous.
- Try to curb these situations before they start
Many times children are thrown off when they must abruptly stop an activity or something comes up that they weren’t expecting. Although I feel children must be trained to be flexible, I also think a little explanation once it a while can’t hurt. For example you can say something like, “In 10 minutes we will be cleaning up to go home” or “After dinner you can watch TV for 30 minutes before you have to get ready for bed.” Statements that prepare children while also setting limits can keep them from becoming surprised and upset when something doesn’t go the way they think it should. I find this especially helpful when we are at a friend’s house and they don’t want to leave. This doesn’t always completely eliminate disappointment but it can help avoid some of the unnecessary drama.
Overall these are just some of the hundreds of ideas that you can use to try and change up your normal means of discipline. The internet, library and even a basic parenting class are great ways to come up with different ideas. The main thing to remember is that no one knows your child like you do and that certain techniques that work on one child may not work on others. Discipline is the cornerstone of raising healthy, happy and responsible children but it can also be an area of frustration for many parents. If you feel yourself needing someone to talk to, reach out to a friend or family member. They too might also be able to give you some creative ideas.