Spoiled, Spacey, Smart-Mouthed Kids - Is it Too Late to Discipline?

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Are you acquainted with spoiled, airhead, belligerent, obnoxious and rude children? Even worse, are you related to them? Are you so stressed out with trying to gain cooperation, that there is little time for fun or expressions of love? Is your interaction more of a battleground than peaceful co-existence?

If so, here are 7 tips to help you regain an attitude of mutual respect.

The word discipline comes from disciple, which means to guide, lead and teach. You cannot teach when you are yelling.

All goals of misbehavior are based on unmet needs:
To gain attention
To gain power
To gain revenge
To gain sympathy

If you want to figure out what the child is trying to accomplish, look at how you are reacting. What are your feelings?

The best way to change a child's behavior is to change how you react. Figure out who owns the problem and don't take it personally. Withdraw from power struggles Being firm and kind in stating what is acceptable and unacceptable behavior helps everyone to know what the boundaries are.

Establishing natural and logical consequences helps reinforce any teaching method.

Be consistent in discipline. We all work better when we know the ground rules and what is expected of us.

Children who have loving rules and boundaries established and practiced in a firm and kind way by the adults in their life are secure. They have a foundation of mutual respect and learn to build satisfying relationships with others.

When they do not have guidelines for appropriate behavior, they spend their time pushing out or going inward rather than growing in self confidence.

Is it too late to establish rules for mutual respect? No. Never stop trying.

Not if the child is 4, 14, 24 or 44. Guiding young people into productive, contributing lives is what the adults in their circle of influence are supposed to do. To do less, is to cheat them and the world of what they have to offer.

Judy H. Wright is a parent educator, family coach, and personal historian who has written more than 20 books, hundreds of articles and speaks internationally on family issues, including end of life. You are invited to visit our blog at www.AskAuntieArtichoke.com for answers and suggestions which will enhance your relationships. You will also find a full listing of free tele-classes and radio shows held each Thursday just for you at www.ArtichokePress.com.

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