Big kid discipline is one of the crucial aspects of parenting. It’s also one of the trickiest. Why? Because sometimes the children just won’t listen! If your child fails to respond to consequences, how can you persuade them to follow your rules?
Of course, the answer depends not only on your child, but also on you. Each family is different, so big kid discipline methods can vary. What’s best for one family, might not be the ideal choice for another. Still, one thing that’s common when it comes to disciplining a child is the principle of cause and effect!
In order to discipline the child, parents often give them a consequence for every misdeed. But, what happens when your child stops responding to the consequence? A logical step is to give him or her another consequence? This might work in some cases, but in others, it can have a totally opposite effect – the child might become even more rebellious!
If this happens, there’s no need to worry too much, because the solution is not too complicated. The good news for you is that you’re not the only parent who is having this kind of problem. In fact, child psychologists and pediatricians from all around the world have worked hard in order to solve this issue. They did manage to find the solution! Although it might seem surprising at first, crashing the key to successful big kid discipline is to stop adding consequences!
Why Should You Stop Punishing Your Kid for Bad Behavior?
According to James Lehman, an author focused on parenting, punishing your kid for bad behavior can’t bring any good. It surely does seem logical, but in the long term, it won’t bring any effects. In fact, the chances are high that you will end up adding one consequence after another. This will not teach your kid to behave well, but will rather enable them to learn how to deal with the consequences. They will either learn how to avoid them or simply wait them out!
Apart from nor bringing the results that you’ve expected, that approach would also have a soul-crushing effect on your kid. They would look at the stacked up punishments as a never-ending circle of misery. If your child starts thinking there’s no way of ever getting out, they might just decide to accept the consequences, rather than changing their bad behavior.
Actually, one of the most common self-defense mechanisms children use when faced with consequences is to stop caring. In most cases, the reason why they’re ignoring you is not that they want to make you feel as a bad parent. Instead, they do it because working up through a series of consequences is an extremely stressful thing for them.
Trying a Different Approach!
Taking away their toys as a way of punishing them for bad behavior is not a method of big kid discipline you should use. You can try it, but it will probably lead you nowhere. A different approach might just be what you need!
You can try to solve the issue by redirecting your child’s attention. What this means is that once you spot that your kid is about to do something bad, rather than punishing them, try moving their attention to something else. When the kid listens to your advice, you need to give them an award in the form of praise!
Of course, this is only a good choice if your child is doing something that’s not jeopardizing their or someone else’s safety. For example, you should forget about the focus-redirection if you spot that your kid is about to hurt another child.