The Five Discipline Basics:
Having discussed the 5 Discipline Basics 1 through to 5 – now let’s look at some examples using the Five Discipline Basics to provide your child with effective parental guidance.
You ask your kid to do his homework and he hollers, “Not now, I’m watching a show!” So you go over, flip the TV off and start yelling. “That’s it! I’ve asked you five times to do your homework and you’ve always got an excuse! You’re grounded from TV and you’d better get your butt in there and do your homework NOW!”
Do you seriously think this is going to make him feel cooperative? No way. He’s going to be super aggravated and sulk for the rest of night. You’ll be lucky if he doesn’t start World War III.
GOOD Example #1
Giving Limits, Communicate, Consistency, Guidance, and Structure:
You give your kid a five minute warning that the TV will be turned off and he’ll have to start his homework. If he argues, just repeat, “Five minutes.” Walk away. In five minutes, calmly walk over and tell him, “Five minutes is up. Time to do your homework.” When the arguing starts, hold out your hand for the remote. Don’t talk. If he refuses to give it to you, then you go over and manually turn off the TV. Stand in front of him and BE FIRM. Calmly hold your ground. Don’t say a word other than, “Homework.” He will fuss and cry and roll all over the couch, but you stand there until you wear him down and he gets tired of the routine.
If he keeps trying to turn the TV on with the remote, you can either calmly work the remote out of his hands (without making it a wrestling match), or go over and unplug the TV. Whatever. Just don’t talk and don’t start playing the argument game. He’s keeping it up because you usually cave or start engaging the behavior. Once he figures out that you aren’t doing that anymore, he’ll pitch a holy fit, but eventually give up. It’s your job to hold out longer than he can keep it up. And the more consistent you are, the less he’ll pull that nonsense.
Also, keep in mind that if you have a chart with chores, expectations and a set time each day to watch TV, this baloney shouldn’t even be an issue. If you ban the TV until all chores and homework are complete and set a specific time limit on how long he can watch TV, there’s no fighting for the remote. He can cough it up or lose the TV (or phone, or games, or ALL of it) altogether. Earning it back will take a lot more effort, and he’ll figure that out soon enough (as long as you make earning it back a big pain in the butt – which is highly recommended!).
BAD Example #2:
You’re in an argument with your eleven-year-old and she’s so mad that she starts crying. You start in with, “Oh my gosh, don’t start that business again! I swear, you cry too much. Cut it out and pull it together!” She yells back, “But you never let me wear lip gloss! All my friends are wearing lip gloss and you just want to be mean!” You engage and lecture back, “You’re too young to wear that stuff! No way! I don’t care what your friends are doing!”
GOOD Example #2
Giving Communication, Limits, Consistency, Structure and Guidance:
First off, we aren’t arguing. There is no arguing with kids. Period. We are the big people and we don’t engage. Engaging reinforces the behavior. Is your kid still going to get mad at you when you don’t let her wear makeup? Sure. But you’ve calmly held your ground and done the right thing. She can get mad all she wants – it’s developmentally appropriate. Kids have to go through the stages of working it out when they’re mad. And this is when you guide her on what to do and say.
Here’s what you tell her: “When you get this upset, tell me, “Mom, I’m really mad right now and need a few minutes to calm down.” Then you can go to your room, quietly close the door and do what you need to calm down.”
You tell her exactly what to say and how to act in that particular situation. Suggest writing in a journal to get her feelings out, hugging her favorite stuffed bear, or getting caught up in a blog. GUIDE her on how to act and what to do. And whatever you do, do not give in to the lip gloss, even if she does exactly what you suggested. If she throws a fit, you cannot give her what she originally wanted, even if she straightens up. Giving in will reinforce the negative behavior. Be consistent and hold to your limits – if you want to see your kids common behavior problems a thing of the past.