It’s overwhelming to be a parent on an average day, but when our children are misbehaving, the feeling is amplified. Determining the best course of discipline for those times doesn’t have to add to how you’re feeling — here are a few tips that can help:
Always praise your children when they do something good and be specific about it.
Some examples: “Thank you for helping your brother,” “Thank you for listening when I asked you to come eat your lunch” or “Thank you for sitting so quietly.”
By praising them for certain good behaviors it encourages them to continue those behaviors and make them a habit.
It’s always fun to work towards something — kids love getting little gifts. Make a behavior chart at home with a few, simple, daily tasks or behaviors your child or children can perform and give them a sticker for completing each one.
If their reward chart is full of all the appropriate stickers for the week then they have earned a reward. Discuss the reward ahead of time so they understand what they are working towards.
The reward doesn’t have to be costly on you. It can be something as simple as going to the park or going out for ice cream. If the child does not receive the reward for the week, don’t discuss it in a negative manner with them. Rather, you should encourage them to do better the following week and remind them that they still have a chance to earn the reward then.
Ignore Bad Behavior
When a child throws a tantrum it can be quite difficult to figure out what to do. Sometimes you would do anything just to make them quiet. The best thing to do is simply ignore this behavior.
Let them throw the tantrum. Eventually they will realize they aren’t getting any attention, get tired and stop. If your child has become conditioned to you picking them up or giving them something in order to stop their tantrum, retraining may take a couple of weeks.
Another tactic that may help while your child is throwing a tantrum, is for you to turn your back to them and begin playing with something else. Talk aloud about how much fun you are having playing with what you are playing with. Do not directly engage the child at this time but if the child decides to join in on your play include them in the fun!
It’s essential to remember that children learn from modeling. Be aware of what you’re teaching your child because they are constantly paying attention.
Children love to test their parents; they want to know what their limits are. Be consistent, don’t confuse your children, keep your promises and don’t go back on your word.
Validate your child’s feelings. If they are crying, don’t tell them to stop. Tell them it’s okay and ask them what’s making them cry. Allow your child to express their feelings.
What you should not do is yell or hit your children. What this does is instill fear in them. Studies have shown that when a parent yells or hits their children they develop a fear of the parent. They also end up not understanding the wrong aspect of the behavior they took part in and therefore fail to learn from their mistakes.
Finally, love your children for they are a blessing.
A’ishah said; “A Bedouin came to the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) and said; ‘Do you kiss your children? Because we don’t!’ The Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said, ‘Can I put mercy in your heart after Allah has removed it?’” (Bukhari and Muslim)
Nurture them to be strong and confident. Teach them about Islam and ways they can earn reward from Allah. If you get frustrated at any time give yourself a time out and talk to them when you are calm.
Your children see you as their support; give them that protection and genuine love they desire.
About the Author
Hello, my name is Maria Qureshi Mir. I am a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT#51904) with an MA in Clinical Psychology with an emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy from Pepperdine University, a BA in Psychology and a BA in Women’s Studies from the University of California, Riverside. With over nine years of professional experience in the field I am now providing confidential online Skype and phone mental health services for individuals, couples, children and families. In today’s world, mental health services are needed more than ever. Unfortunately, seeking out therapy is considered taboo amongst society and I want to change that way of thinking. Throughout my career, I have helped many individuals, couples, children and families of all ages, backgrounds and circumstances overcome their struggles. People often do not seek therapy for fear of their personal issues being discovered by others. This is why I put an emphasis on the guarantee of confidentiality for each and every one of my clients.Please contact me via phone or email to schedule a Skype or phone appointment today!