Everyone likes cute, innocent and little kids, they are super charming till they do not start to cry. As a parent, you have a unique bond with your child. It is very common to find a lot of misbehaving kids. If you discipline your child with respect and make sure that the means are consistent and fair, you’ll have long-lasting positive effects. One striking difference to be cognized on the behaviour of the kid is ‘naughty’ and ‘misbehaving.’ Both cannot be treated equally and by same disciplinary measures. Naughtiness is a character of fun with slightly excess action while misbehaving expresses aberration and ignoring advice or result.
But sometimes you loose your temper and unnecessarily spank your kids. Working with parents for 40 years has demonstrated to me that parents spank because they don’t know what else to do that will work with the misbehaving kids. It is out of their boiling frustration that they resort to harsh physical actions like spanking, slapping and even pinching. But actually, it’s all spanking out of helplessness. You are showing your weakness to your misbehaving kids.
Children do not need to be cried upon, to be hurt, to be shamed, or to shout “uncle” to learn the lesson you are trying to impart. The discipline that is needed should be just that the lesson that teaches not to do that again. It is a lesson that cultivates self-discipline. The nature of the misbehaving kid needs to be carefully watched. Misbehaving kids need to learn instead of being hurt or humiliated. In fact, a child in those heightened emotional states will not learn. Rather, he will be focused on his anger at you, what a mean, bad daddy you are, not even thinking about what he did.
Sometimes, it is observed that the negativity and goading behavior of such misbehaving kids can feel like a magnet pulling you in. I think the best thing to do is to be very conscious of what’s happening and then stay out of that orbit. The main thing is, don’t give it legs.
Here are some tips to deal with misbehaving kids and what to do when you feel like spanking
- Get a grip on your own anger and feel you can hold your anger. Grit your teeth and admit that you feel like walloping your kid. Then commit not to do it.
- Remind yourself that this is an opportunity for you to teach and for your child to learn. Often children have to do the wrong thing on their way to doing the right thing. And yes, for that there is a consequence.
- Let the child know that whatever the behavior was, you are stopping it. Remove the child from the scene of the crime.
- Say as little as possible. “There are no throwing balls in the living room!” using your low, slow, icy voice. Mean business.
- Most of all, make the kid understand, that you love the kid and you need the kid always.
- Remove and isolate your child to a safe place away from you and the scene. No words.
- The key is to ‘disengage’. Do not give your attention of any kind, negative or positive. Nothing.
- When you have both come back to planet Earth, even as long as an hour later depending on the age of the child (the younger the child, the shorter the time), do your revisit.
- Start a short, direct conversation, let it be one-sided, about what happened and what will happen as a result.
- For children 7 years old and younger, have your logical consequence ready to get imposed. Logical consequences are directly related to the child’s misbehaviour. Just take this example here, ‘you showed me that you do not know how to use balls responsibly, so you will not be able to use balls of any kind for the rest of the week. If necessary, be prepared to take the rest of the family out to play ball. He’ll feel it! So sorry you can’t play with us.’
- For children older than 7, in addition to the logical consequence, there might be a removal of privileges, or he might have to earn the money to help pay the cost of replacing the window. He will get it.
- Know that it takes time for the lesson to take hold. Much like microwave cooking, it needs a standing time to begin to sink in.
- There is no one-size-fits-all answer. Your response must be crafted to the particular child and the infraction.
- Remember, parenting by imposing fear is neither healthy nor effective. It is worth to mention here that you and your child need to be on the same team. You and your partner both are trying to get him to the same place, the place of making thoughtful, good choices for himself. And the very first chance you get, catches him doing the right thing.
Praise works better than punishment and a whole lot better than spanking. Let’s face it, “No” will definitely get a reaction. Kids thrive on the connection they have with you, and if a child is always negative, they will usually respond the same reaction to their parents. As odd as it sounds, sometimes the negativity spewing from your child’s lips is not meant to sound as bad as it does. She may simply want contact with you, albeit negative contact. Some kids’ versions of saying, “Hi, how are you this morning?” come out as, “These eggs are disgusting!” While this is the way your child might want to connect with you, it doesn’t mean you have to enjoy it or listen to it endlessly.
A final piece of advice: When dealing with your negative child, be counter- intuitive. Again, while the goal of helping your child be a more positive person is a good one, trying to make him be one will backfire. Instead, do what is counter-intuitive: accept his negative feelings. His feelings are separate from you, so allow them without “futurizing” and “personalizing” and getting entangled. Don’t let your own anxiety about your child interfere. Rather, listen without criticism. Stand next to him, not joined to him. Only then will he stop being compelled to use his energy to fight you or defend himself from your criticism. With your acceptance, he’ll be free to begin thinking about how he wants to change and grow.