Saturday, February 21, 2009

Adult in Charge

Our North American society made a big step forward when physical punishment was recognized as the totally wrong approach for teaching children how to behave.

In fact, the clue to our changing ideas is present in the previous statement. We finally realized that the goal we all have is to "teach" our children. Physical punishment did teach children something: "might is right". Every child who was hurt by his parent decided that one day, when he was big enough, he would have control.

So parents today are generally in uncharted territory. Remember that "discipline" has the Latin root meaning to teach or to train.

The first thing to remember is that every child wants to feel safe. As a parent of a toddler or preschooler, you need to feel confident that you do know best in the situation. This confidence is conveyed by making your expectations clear, and by not giving in to tantrums, etc. It may surprise you, but your child wants to feel that you know best. Then he feels safe and protected.

Exhibit self-discipline: expect from yourself what you expect from your child. Remember that you are "the adult in charge".

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