Positive Discipline and basic home behaviour management

Nikki - posted on 04/15/2010 ( 33 moms have responded )




Hi Ladies, I found this and thought it had some great ideas, not sure if the scheduling would ever work in my house, but I liked the rest.

Basic home behaviour management

State the rules

All children need and want boundaries and limits

Rules exist, even though they may not be spoken or written.

Keep rules short and to the point. Have a few, reasonable rules.

Be consistent in using and enforcing rules. It is important to call attention to rules when the child has been following them.

Don’t wait until the child has violated them.

Make the world predictable if possible

Develop routines and write out a daily schedule. Homework, TV, school, play, baths, and meals should all be written in. Scheduling helps children (and adults) to gauge time, organize activities and prioritize in terms of importance. Schedules provide a visual cue of when things will happen and imply an agreement of when it is time to stop one activity and move on to another. This decreases arguing. Reinforce adherence to the schedule.

When behavior is appropriate, praise it

Focus on the many small, positive behaviors that your child exhibits. Notice when she responds to a direction the first time you say it. Even if she’s doing it because it’s something she wants to do, it still merits special attention. This will help her notice the exact behavior that you want her to demonstrate. If a task has been partially completed, comment positively on the completed part first. When you notice things that a child does right, it breaks the cycle of negative redirection (nagging) and makes her feel better about herself and you. Increase the amount of non–verbal praise. Give them a lot of warm smiles and hugs. Your attention is something your child needs, use it at the right time. Provide extra praise for behaviors you want to increase.

When the behavior is inappropriate, ignore it

For a child, negative attention is better than no attention at all. Attention reinforces behavior. Before you look at, speak to, or touch the child, ask yourself, “Do I want the behavior my child is now engaging in to increase?” If not, ignore it! Turn your attention to other matters or other children (siblings) who are behaving appropriately. If the behavior is not dangerous or destructive and you can ignore it, you should do so. When you refuse to pay attention to undesirable behavior, a child must do something else to catch your attention. Quickly, give positive attention to more appropriate behaviors. Be aware that when you begin to ignore a problem behavior, it may increase rather than decrease at first. Be firm and consistent.

When directions are given, state them clearly

Do not phrase directions as questions when you mean them as directions. For example, don’t ask, “Are you ready for bed?” when it’s bedtime. Instead say, “It’s time for you to go to bed”, as a direction, not a request. Get the child’s attention, give directions, reinforce compliance. Whenever possible, give a choice between two acceptable options, but your child should know when he has a choice and when he has no option. State expectations clearly. “Straighten up”, leaves room for debate. Say what you mean.

Never give a direction unless you are ready to enforce it. Reserve directions for important situations where you are prepared to follow through. If you don’t feel like getting up to check, don’t direct them to put away their toys. When you are concerned about inconsistency, ask yourself exactly what message you want to convey – that it is okay to leave the toys out or it’s okay not to listen to your directions. Mean what you say.

Understand the limitations of punishment

Punishment procedures, such as time out, only interrupt behavior but do not teach an alternate behavior. If a punishment procedure is used, be sure to deliver the punishment in a matter–of–fact manner, deliver it immediately, and every time the behavior occurs. An effective punishment entails a warning and has a set beginning and end. Reinforce incompatible behaviors and positive alternative behaviors. Teach them what to do as well as what not to do.

Model appropriate behavior

Demonstrate the behaviors you want your child to display.Model the target behavior, then encourage the child to imitate you.

Pretend to do it wrong and let the child correct you! It is easier to remember new behavior if there is a visual image and a chance for supervised positive practice. Modeling also means adults and children follow the same family rules in “Real life.”

What you do is more important than what you say. Children learn what they live.


Brandy - posted on 08/13/2011




kiley i agree with what youre saying but keep in mind that when you ask instead of let them know whats next you are giving them a choice so if they say no but its time for bed you maybe setting your self up for a tantrum, so maybe giving them a choice that goes along with whats next would help such as its time for bed maybe they can pick out pajamas or a book to read, but you still have to take an athoritive role. we tell jenna its almost bed time and then warn her you have 5 mins until bed time and then when its time we say ok its bed time lets go pick out a story etc... sometimes i feel like kids these days are disrespectful because they pretty much run the show, its our job to guide and teach them not to let them decide everything and cater to their feelings all the time and when i say this it is not directed towards anyone i was just stating how i feel things have changed

Jenni - posted on 06/19/2011




Is it a tantrum for not getting his way?
If so, till it ends.
It will get worse before it gets better. Meaning, when you first start ignoring tantrums, your little one will pull out all the stops to get your attention. The tantrums will get worse before they get better. So don't get discouraged. But in the end, it works.
Make sure you're offering him choices in his daily activities. 2-3 year olds are fighting for independence, he needs to feel he has some control over his little world. Offer choices over the little things like; what he wears, going to the backyard to play or the park, eating a banana for a snack or apple. Limit to two choices. Do you want this or that?
Make sure his physical needs are met; thirst, hunger, sleep. They are usually the root of the tantrums.
Keep him busy!
IF he does start to tantrum, address the tantrum first before you ignore. You can say calmly: "I see you're upset right now you can't have a cookie, but you need to calm yourself down. Mommy, will talk to you again when you are calm."
If he's tantruming because he can't preform a task you can say calmly: "I see you're frustrated you can't get it to work. But you need to calm yourself down before Mommy can help."
Once he's calm say "good job calming yourself down. Now I will help you."
Keeping your cool is very important (sometimes difficult) if you get upset, it will only escalate the tantrum. Keep your calm and he will calm down much quicker.

[deleted account]

Why is your instinct to swat him? Only you can answer that!

I've never hit Roxanne (22 months)....not even a tap on the hand BUT, and that's a BIG BUT, when she doesn't listen my first instinct is always to smack her hand etc. My dad spanked me when I was young which eventually turned into "beatings" as I became older and rebelled. I learned to deal with frustrating by being physical....it became my way of controlling the situation. If someone didn't listen, smack them to get their attention. If a boyfriend wanted to leave in the middle of an argument, push him, punch him, whatever I needed to do to get his attention. Anyhow, you get the point. FOR ME, and I can't speak for anyone else, my urge to physically reprimand my daughter stems from my childhood and my extreme need to control my world.

I work extremely hard at it daily and it's not easy but I'd rather go punch, scream or kick a pillow than smack my daughter.

Just thought I'd share my struggle. Hope this helps a wee bit?!

Good luck

[deleted account]

I agree, you don't necessarily or completely IGNORE them. When Roxanne (21 months) is throwing a fit and becomes unmanagable, as long as she's not in any immediate danger, I let her finish her tantrum......it usually only lasts about a minute or two once she realizes she doesn't have my attention anymore. Once she's calmed down I get down on her level and we have a short conversation, hugs, kisses and apologies etc. Doing this COMBINED with the postitive praise for the good behaviors has been extremely effective in our house.

I wish you luck!

P.S. At 21 months I'm proud to report that time-outs have also been very effective with Roxanne.

Nikki - posted on 06/18/2010




Ignore the little things Mary and praise the good. I find once you learn to block out the small things, you feel better in yourself because every little thing isn't irritating you. For dangerous behaviour, it needs to be addressed, but I wouldn't make a big deal about it, children crave attention, so focus on the positives and they will begin to seek positive attention more.


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Kiley - posted on 08/12/2011




I definitely think phrasing is a useful tool. Ie "Are you reading for bed," vs "It's time for bed." The former opens
You up to a debate ;) Similarly, "Can you pick up your blocks?" Verses "Pick up your blocks." Becoming aware of questions verses requests is so important.

[deleted account]

Awwww, Jacqueline -- you're sweet. Glad you're here. We're always around. Feel free to start some threads if there's anything specific you'd like to have a dialogue about.

Jacqueline Renee - posted on 06/29/2011




Thanks so much for all this information and replies from everyone. I have bben at my wits end since summer started. I have a one, four and five year old. The oldest two have really been testing me and I have started yelling to get them to comply....which usually does not work. After reading this post I am amazed at how much sense all this makes and the errors that I have been making. I will most definately start a new day tomorrow. First on the list are a list of rules, schedule and chores. I did not realize how stressful it can be with no schedule or idea of what is going on for the day. My oldest attend preschool so I am sure that they have been very much out of their element since Summer started. As for my daughter I will try the redirection and ignoring of the tantrums. I have tried talking with her and sending her to her room but would always go in and try to fix things. I will try to ignore the behavior until she has calmed down and hopefully we will get out of this "circle of drama". Thanks again to all of you. I have really been stressed the past few days and really beating myself up as a "bad" parents. Keep us in your thoughts and prayers.

Chido - posted on 06/19/2011




Thank you for the advice. suppose my 3 year old son is throwing a tantrum and i walk away, for how long am i suppose to leave him crying?

Laura - posted on 12/18/2010




Alison, I have to say please don't punish yourself for your natural instinct. I think the point here is that you are finding your "instinct" to not be the right way to go and you're thinking about what other tactics you could use. That's BRILLIANT! So many people never even think about how they respond to their children so I say keep up the good work and together with your son you will both find a way to work together in a way that makes you both happy

Jessica - posted on 12/09/2010




I think Model appropriate behavior would have the biggest impact. People dont realize it but children are always observing

Brandy - posted on 11/07/2010




this is exactly what we try to do in our home, its the method i was taught in training for child education and its wonderful!

Ikeca - posted on 08/15/2010




When I had my breast biopsy my ss8 punched me in (of course) that side, and I smacked him on the face. I felt so bad, I suppose it was the pain talking. :( I later asked him why, and he said "Mommy said you were faking it. " So I pulled up my shirt and showed him! Needless to say he has not hit me since. Unfortunately as a stepmom, I feel the need to do certain things, and not be as "open". but sometimes you just have to. I'm so glad he's alot better, but I think i'll be using some of these techniques as well.

Ikeca - posted on 08/15/2010




Question about the ignoring, the kids like to talk about poo, pee, fart, etc. and if you don't say something, they keep going. Is this an exception to the rule? lol.

[deleted account]

I am so frustrated with myself. My son was sitting in his booster chair at the table and he was upset because he was finished eating and I hadn't been quick enough to remove him from the table. We're working on patience...

Anyway, as I reached down to get him out of his chair, he smacked me in the face, and instinctively, I swatted his cheek back. I felt awful, but I didn't say anything like "Awww, poor sweetie, Mommy didn't mean it" because I don't want him to get confused about my conflicting emotions. I just said "That's why we don't hit. It hurts!" and got him down out of his chair. He cried a little but quickly bounced back (he is 21-months old after all) and we went about our merry way. But it's eating me up inside. Why is my "instinct" to swat him? :(

ME - posted on 06/18/2010




I've never thought to ignore Miles' bad behavior...He's only two, does this really work? How long does it take? I'm at my wits end with him, and I promised myself I wouldn't be a smacker...so, I don't know where to go from here...I certainly model, and I definitely praise the good behavior. What about for dangerous behavior (jumping off the back of the couch? or doing something to his baby sister?)...I feel like I'm constantly reprimanding him, and I hate it! I know he must hate it too...Now that Mayah is almost four months and her eating schedule is getting a little bit further apart and more regular, I'm trying to do something with Miles each morning (go for a long walk and let him pick the route, read a bunch of books, color together, etc) while my hubby watches the baby...and when we are doing our special thing together, he is an angel, but the minute it's over, we're back to our "fighting"...it's exhausting!

[deleted account]

Oh, Alison....nobody's perfect! It's progress, NOT perfection.....give yourself a break! I'm sure all of us can admit that we've acted inappropriately before and I'm sure it won't be the only time! I know I'm certainly not perfect! I'm glad you shared.... If you ever need to talk about your frustrations or JUST talk please don't hesitate! We're here for support as well!

[deleted account]

I am so ashamed - I slipped this morning when my son smacked me in the head and bopped him gently on his while saying (ironically), "We don't hit, hitting hurts, see?" *sigh* This is so much harder than just saying that we don't use physical means to instruct our kids :( I'm not sure what to do, except of course NOT to ever bop him again. I was just taken by surprise, I guess. Now I'm feeling horribly guilty.

[deleted account]

My 3 main ones I use at this age (20 months) are modeling appropriate behaviour, redirection to a more positive activity and TONS of praise when she complies! So far these have been enough. On occasion when I've asked her to do something and she doesn't listen the first time I count...." Go to ur room please.....you have till the count of 3! ......1, 2...." (and usually right about here she's marching down the hallway!)

Oh ya, and on the rare occasion where she has thrown a temper tantrum I've just ignored it until she's calmed down enough and then we speak abou it! Few and far between!

Dawna - posted on 05/19/2010




wow, i can now name one of my newer, more frequently used techniques: response cost.

we don't really do time-outs. they just don't seem to be a natural tool in our arsenals. however, she has taken to getting quite an attitude with us when she doesn't want to do something. during once such incident, i told her she wouldn't get to play with a game she liked (which she had just gotten out, but not opened) if she didn't do what i was telling her (change a diaper, maybe?). that worked really well, and seems to continue to be the best bet for her really stubborn streaks. she will usually even cooperate happily.

we do many other things from both these lists, and especially try to keep up modeling good behavior and heaping on praise for appropriate behavior, while ignoring the bad.

Nikki - posted on 05/17/2010




POSITIVE DISCIPLINE - another great article


How do young children learn self-control, self-help, ways to get along with others, and family and school procedures? Such learning occurs when parents and teachers of infants, toddlers, or preschoolers are continuously involved in setting limits, encouraging desired behaviors, and making decisions about managing children.

When making these decisions, caregivers often ask themselves these questions: Am I disciplining in a way that hurts or helps this child's self-esteem? Will my discipline help the child develop self-control? This digest suggests methods and language that can be used in handling common situations involving young children.

Methods Of Discipline That Promote Self-Worth

1. Show that you recognize and accept the reason the child is doing what, in your judgment, is the wrong thing:

"You want to play with the truck but..."

"You want me to stay with you but..."

This validates the legitimacy of the child's desires and illustrates that you are an understanding person. It also is honest from the outset: The adult is wiser, in charge, not afraid to be the leader, and occasionally has priorities other than those of the child.

2. State the "but":

"You want to play with the truck, but Jerisa is using it right now."

"You want me to stay with you, but right now I need to (go out, help Jill, serve lunch, etc.)."

This lets the child know that others have needs, too. It teaches perspective taking, and may lead the child to develop the ability to put himself in other people's shoes. It will also gain you the child's respect, for it shows you are fair. And it will make the child feel safe; you are able to keep him safe.

3. Offer a solution:

"Soon you can play with the truck."

One-year-olds can begin to understand "just a minute" and will wait patiently if we always follow through 60 seconds later. Two- and three-year-olds can learn to understand, "I'll tell you when it's your turn," if we always follow through within two or three minutes. This helps children learn how to delay gratification but does not thwart their short-term understanding of time.

4. Often, it's helpful to say something indicating your confidence in the child's ability and willingness to learn:

"When you get older I know you will (whatever it is you expect)."

"Next time you can (restate what is expected in a positive manner)."

This affirms your faith in the child, lets her know that you assume she has the capacity to grow and mature, and transmits your belief in her good intentions.

5. In some situations, after firmly stating what is not to be done, you can demonstrate how we do it, or a better way:

"We don't hit. Pat my face gently." (Gently stroke).

"Puzzle pieces are not for throwing. Let's put them in their places together." (Offer help).

This sets firm limits, yet helps the child feel that you two are a team, not enemies.

6. Toddlers are not easy to distract, but frequently they can be redirected to something that is similar but OK. Carry or lead the child by the hand, saying,

"That's the gerbil's paper. Here's your paper."

"Peter needs that toy. Here's a toy for you."

This endorses the child's right to choose what she will do, yet begins to teach that others have rights, too.

7. Avoid accusation. Even with babies, communicate in respectful tones and words. This prevents a lowering of the child's self-image and promotes his tendency to cooperate.

8. For every no, offer two acceptable choices:

"No! Rosie cannot bite Esther. Rosie can bite the rubber duck or the cracker."

"No, Jackie. That book is for teachers. You can have this book or this book."

This encourages the child's independence and emerging decision-making skills, but sets boundaries. Children should never be allowed to hurt each other. It's bad for the self-image of the one who hurts and the one who is hurt.

9. If children have enough language, help them express their feelings, including anger, and their wishes. Help them think about alternatives and solutions to problems. Adults should never fear children's anger:

"You're mad at me because you're so tired. It's hard to feel loving when you need to sleep. When you wake up, I think you'll feel more friendly."

"You feel angry because I won't let you have candy. I will let you choose a banana or an apple. Which do you want?"

This encourages characteristics we want to see emerge in children, such as awareness of feelings and reasonable assertiveness, and gives children tools for solving problems without unpleasant scenes.

10. Establish firm limits and standards as needed. Until a child is 1 1/2 or almost 2 years old, adults are completely responsible for his safety and comfort, and for creating the conditions that encourage good behavior. After this age, while adults are still responsible for the child's safety, they increasingly, though extremely gradually, begin to transfer responsibility for behaving acceptably to the child. They start expecting the child to become aware of others' feelings. They begin to expect the child to think simple cause/effect thoughts (provided the child is guided quietly through the thinking process). This is teaching the rudiments of self-discipline.

11. To avoid confusion when talking to very young children, give clear, simple directions in a firm, friendly voice. This will ensure that children are not overwhelmed with a blizzard of words and refuse to comply as a result.

12. Remember that the job of a toddler, and to some extent the job of all young children, is to taste, touch, smell, squeeze, tote, poke, pour, sort, explore, and test. At times toddlers are greedy, at times grandiose. They do not share well; they need time to experience ownership before they are expected to share. They need to assert themselves ("No," "I can't," "I won't," and "Do it myself"). They need to separate to a degree from their parents, that is, to individuate. One way they do this is to say no and not to do what is asked; another is to do what is not wanted.

If adults understand children in this age range, they will create circumstances and develop attitudes that permit and promote development. Self discipline is better learned through guidance than through punishment. It's better learned through a "We are a team, I am the leader, it's my job to help you grow up" approach than through a "me against you" approach.

Creating A Positive Climate Promotes Self-Discipline

Creating a positive climate for the very young involves

spending lots of leisurely time with an infant or child;

sharing important activities and meaningful play;

listening and answering as an equal, not as an instructor (for example, using labeling words when a toddler points inquiringly toward something, or discussing whatever topic the 2-year-old is trying to tell you about);

complimenting the child's efforts: "William is feeding himself!" "Juana is putting on her shoe!" (even if what you are seeing is only clumsy stabs in the right direction); and

smiling, touching, caressing, kissing, cuddling, holding, rocking, hugging.

Harmful, Negative Disciplinary Methods

Criticizing, discouraging, creating obstacles and barriers, blaming, shaming, using sarcastic or cruel humor, or using physical punishment are some negative disciplinary methods used with young children. Often saying, "Stop that!" "Don't do it that way!" or "You never..." is harmful to children's self-esteem. Such discipline techniques as removal from the group, or isolation in a time-out chair or a corner, may have negative consequences for the child.

Any adult might occasionally do any of these things. Doing any or all of them more than once in a while means that a negative approach to discipline has become a habit and urgently needs to be altered before the child experiences low self-esteem as a permanent part of her personality.

Good Approaches To Discipline

increase a child's self-esteem,

allow her to feel valued,

encourage her to feel cooperative,

enable her to learn gradually the many skills involved in taking some responsibility for what happens to her,

motivate her to change her strategy rather than to blame others,

help her to take initiative, relate successfully to others, and solve problems.

[deleted account]

Nikki - WOW! I especially like the technique of an active time-out instead of just sitting in the corner. It's like a combination of distraction and re-direction, with the added bonus of teaching the child that s/he can control his/her own time in the time-out. Genius! Thank you so much for sharing!

Nikki - posted on 05/06/2010




This is a behaviour policy for a child care centre, however a lot of the information can be used at home, it has some interesting points about "i messages" which I am a big fan of. Unfortunately I find it hard to find documents like this for home use.

To prevent unacceptable behaviour, the staff will:
Model appropriate behaviour.
Arrange the classroom environment to enhance the learning behaviours that are acceptable.
Use descriptive praise when appropriate behaviour is occurring.
When unacceptable behaviour is about to occur/is occurring, the staff will use:
Redirection: substituting a positive activity for a negative activity.
Distraction: change the focus of the activity or behaviour.
Active listening: to determine the underlying cause of behaviour.
Separation from the group: this is used only when less intrusive methods have been tried. In the event that a time-out is used, the child will remain in the sight and hearing of the staff. (Guidelines attached).
At no time will discipline take the form of denial of physical necessities (e.g. snack, lunch, bathroom facilities).
The centre complies with all federal, territorial and other relevant laws which prohibit corporal punishment in day care settings. Additionally, staff are expressly prohibited from using unproductive or shaming methods of punishment.
The centre believes that parents and staff must work together to deal with persistent behaviour issues such as biting, unusual or dangerous aggression, or other issues. Parents will be contacted for a conference when a child appears to be unusually stressed, anxious or otherwise motivated to engage in negative behaviour.
The staff will provide each child with guidance that helps the child acquire a positive self-concept and self-control, and teach acceptable behaviour. Discipline and behaviour guidance used by each caregiver will at all times strive to be constructive, positive and suited to the age and disposition of the child.
Purpose of Time Out
Time-out means time out from positive reinforcement (rewarding experiences). It is a procedure used to decrease undesirable behaviours. The main principle of this procedure is to ensure that the individual in time-out is not able to receive any reinforcement for a particular period of time. It is also an opportunity for a child to be removed from an over stimulating situation, where he/she was failing to make good decisions.
Time Out Area
The time-out area should be easily assessible, and in such a location that the child can be easily monitored while in time-out. Use of a timer is a good way to keep the child informed of how much time he has left to serve.
Amount of Time Spent in Time Out
Generally, it is considered more effective to have short periods of time-out. Children from 2 to 5 years old should receive a 2 to 5 minute time-out. In some cases, the time-out can be doubled for such offenses as hitting, kicking, biting, severe temper tantrums and destruction of property.
Specifying Target Behaviours
It is very important the child be aware of the behaviours that are targeted for reduction. They should be very concretely defined.
Procedures for Time Out
When a child is told to go into time-out, a teacher should only say, “Time-out for…” and state the particular offense. There should be no further discussion.
Use a timer with a bell and tell the child he/she must stay in time-out until the bell rings.
While in time-out, the child should not be permitted to talk or make noises in any way, such as mumbling or grumbling. He or she should not be allowed to play with any toy, to listen to music, watch television, or bang on the furniture. Any violation of time-out should result in automatic resetting of the clock for another time-out period.
It is important that all teachers be acquainted with the regulations for time-out so that all children are treated the same way on time-out.
The child should be given a chance following the time-out to again succeed and be praised for his/her success.
Strategy for Handling Refusal or Resistance
Tell younger children that you will count to three and if they are not in time-out when you get to three the time-out will be doubled.
Use response cost. Select an activity or object you can take away. Tell the child that until they do the time-out, they will not be able to use the object or engage in the activity.
Alternatives to Time Out - Examples
Send the child to a nearby table and choose an appropriate activity which would involve and engage them physically, visually, cognitively. The instructions could be “Put this puzzle together”, “String all the square beads”, Sort all these shapes”, Match these pictures”, Copy this pattern, “Let me know when you are finished. Then we will talk”. The child is in control of the timing. Often, as children learn that this is the ‘time-out” technique used, they will self-regulate the amount of time-out they need. If they’re not ready to talk or return to the group, they’ll do the puzzle again, or somehow delay finishing.
The process of fitting pieces into spaces or, choosing the right piece or color or shape, all help youngsters to calm down, to focus on the specific task, and to feel in control of the situation and in control of themselves. Sometimes a decision can be made to extend the time alone by telling the child, “I don’t think you are ready yet, let’s do this some more.” Often you would begin to talk about the completed activity before talking about the troublesome behaviour.
Set Limits – give as much responsibility as possible to the child. This requires the child to accept responsibility for his/her own behaviour and limits never requirement punishment. Limits contribute to the normal development of the child’s independence. The following are 5 ways to set limits. They are interchangeable in order to choose the method that best suits each situation and each child.
The I-message. There are 3 parts to an I-message: your feelings, what’s happening, and the reason why you are concerned. E.g. It scares me when I see you climbing on the table because it’s not strong and you could get hurt.
Giving Information. When you give information, use an informative tone of voice without scolding or threatening, then allow the child to react. If the child ignores you, try a firmer voice or give more information. E.g. “It’s time to get ready for lunch”, and wait for a response.
Natural or Logical Consequences. These are an outgrowth of the child’s behaviour and the consequence must follow the behaviour immediately. A consequence should never be a punishment or a message that says I told you so! E.g. “Looks like your milk spilled; here’s the sponge.”
Using Contingencies. This is when a second action depends on a first action being performed. A contingency usually begins with the word when. This statement tells the child what you expect and what will happen when he complies. E.g. “When your puzzle is put away, you may play with another toy.”
Making choices. These work especially well with children who are strong willed and in need of a great deal of control. Giving choices eliminates power struggles and ‘NO’ answers. E.g. “You may walk to get your diaper changed or I can carry you (but your diaper gets changed).”
The ‘last resort’ method – remove the child from the situation, have him/her sit apart until he/she is ready to play without harassing and let him/her decide when to return. If the behaviour is repeated tell him/her ‘You thought you were ready, but you’re not so you’ll need to sit until you are ready”. This is not ‘time out’ as the child is always in control.
Advantages of Time Out
It increases the probability that teachers are going to be consistent about what behaviour is not acceptable, when and how.
The child learns to accept his/her own responsibility for undesirable behaviour. The teacher is not punishing the child; rather the child is punishing himself.
The child more readily learns to discriminate which behaviours are acceptable and which are unacceptable.
The child begins to learn more self-control.

[deleted account]

Thanks, Dana - I got here via a different community (by chance, I happened to jump back into CoM's boards again after a long hiatus) so I'm going to take my time reading the other discussions. :)

[deleted account]

Alison, really glad you decided to join......look forward to seeing you around! Please check out all the posts if you haven't already and don't be shy to jump right in.....a lot of us already know each other so we need to catch up with you.....LOL!

[deleted account]

@ Erin - thank you SO much for sharing your strategies for dealing with unwanted behavior from your daughter, I really needed to hear that today! My son has recently been hitting me/hubby/the dog and I keep thinking "Maybe ignoring him isn't the right thing to do, maybe he needs me to help him express how he's feeling..." but you're right, I need to leave him alone, make him realize that what he's doing isn't right and then later when he's calm, give him the words to explain how he feels/felt in that situation. Thank you!

Avelina - posted on 04/25/2010




I love this. Especially the Model Appropriate Behavior, I do that already. I just found out that a girl in my son's daycare has been saying SH** around him, and I think he said it..Not sure. Well my fiance & I sat him down and went through the "rude words" that he is not suppose to say. Everytime we said it, he says "Don't Say That". I'm so proud, b/c sometimes I say shut up to someone, out of play of course, and he'll come from the other room and tell me "Don't Say That Mommy". I love this post.


Ez - posted on 04/15/2010




'When behaviour is appropriate, praise it. When the behavior is inappropriate, ignore it'

This is what I live by in my house. I figured out very early on that positive reinforcement was much more effective with my daughter than me constantly reprimanding her for every little thing.

Her tantrums get ignored - I leave the room. When she lashes out and hits, I say nothing and just put her down/move her away and ignore it. When she's throwing food and looking at me waiting for me to react.. IGNORE!! (even if I'm fuming inside lol).

But when she sits still for me to do her hair, I tell her what a good girl she is in a calm, sing-song voice. When she brings me something I've asked for, I tell her she's such a good helper.

The rest of the points make perfect sense too!

Meghan - posted on 04/15/2010




Make the world predictable if possible- I love this one!!! Joshua knows his day now...sometimes if I get distracted and things are even 5 minutes late, he will remind me! I think for him, he thrives off of knowing what is going to happen next. Of course, things aren't always strict, but big things like breakfast, lunch, naps, dinner, bath, stories, bed-he is on the ball!
And of course the model appropriate behavior is great too! Can't expect him to do anything I wouldn't do!
Nikki, you are amazing!!!

Amie - posted on 04/15/2010




This is great! We do a lot of this in our home. Our lives are mostly scheduled but there is wiggle room for some things. Like when I do errands, shop or play time. It varies day to day because of other things that do happen. (like my kids activities)

We have a big family calendar in our kitchen on the fridge. We also have two chore charts. The kids have one and my husband and I have another. We all get stars for completing our chores. =)

I think a big part of chores is making sure they're fun for the kids too. Mine don't mind cleaning their rooms most days, they like to sweep and vacuum, they've even tried to do dishes (that one I won't allow yet lol!), our oldest is taking cooking lessons for the last year and she loves to help in the kitchen. So does our son.. it makes meal time easier too since they feel like they had a say in what they're eating.

I also think it extends to every aspect of their lives. My kids have a lot of toys and extras but they also spend loads of time outside (even in the dead of winter). They've learned it's ok to have these things but moderation is key. My husband and I also love to be outside though and spend as much time as possible out there. I need to be careful though, there have been times my house work has started to lag because I've been outside in the yard, going out, etc. with the kids for days on end. LOL!

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