Saturday, February 6, 2016

Why Does This Always Happen At The Wrong Time?

Discipline Barriers
Sometimes it's really hard to get the kids moving in the morning, but you have to drop them off at daycare and get to work on time. What can you do to make them move faster? It can seem that the more you push, the more they slow down. Don't cave, and please don't bribe.

Sometimes we have to slow down as parents and look at things from a different perspective. Of course you have a schedule to keep, but getting upset in the moment can cause discipline to degrade into desperation. So plan ahead for these moments, because they will happen. Having a discipline plan can help avoid the many barriers to effective discipline.

What are the barriers?
They are our emotions. For example, what happens when the kid's aren't cooperating? We usually get frustrated, then angry. If you lose your cool and blow up at the kids, then you're likely to feel guilty later. If it happens often, you may even become afraid of the situations that cause squabbles with your kids, and this hinders you even more from using effective discipline. All these emotions make it difficult to implement discipline that works well. But we can't help having emotions can we?

That's Why We Need A Plan
The first step of a good plan is to stay positive, believing your kid's are capable of cooperating. Next is to tell them your expectations ahead of time, and allow them one reminder. For example, the night before a work week explain to your child, " Mommy needs to be at work on time tomorrow, so you need to be ready when Mommy needs to leave. If I don't get to work on time I may lose my job, then we can't pay for toys & clothes & food. Do you understand?" (nod) "Will you get ready when mommy tells you to and no dawdling?" (Another nod) "I will remind you in the morning. If you dawdle and make mommy late there will be no TV time tonight", (or whatever consequence works for this child).

In the morning just remind them of your little talk, and follow your usual routine. By anticipating situations and helping your child understand your expectations, and the consequences, in a calm way you give them a chance to please you. Be sure to say thank you when they're ready on time, this will reinforce the good behavior. And if they are still dawdling make sure you implement the consequence.

Other Discipline Obstacles
Sometimes as parents with all our responsibilities and concerns we find ourselves feeling overwhelmed, worried or possibly even depressed. These thoughts and feelings will consume your mental and emotional space making it difficult to have more positive thoughts and feelings, or to think clearly when little problems with the kid's come up. Your troubles may prevent you from investing more positive time and energy into your relationships, and may cause your kids to feel "unloved".

Children are sensitive to the emotions in their environment, but they don't have the ability to analyze and comprehend these feelings without clear information. If you are in this negative space over a long period of time your children may end up feeling confused, guilty, angry, fearful and hopeless themselves, without really knowing why. This can certainly cause them to misbehave more, and cause you to feel more frustrated and hopeless.

It's a good idea to let them know when you're feeling troubled about something and apologize for not being your usual self. At the same time reassure them that it's not their fault and that you will find a solution. This helps them understand that parents have concerns & worries that children aren't aware of, and that sometimes people need a little time to work things out. Having told them this, it would be good to put your troubles aside for a moment and do a little fun or comforting activity together. This reinforces the feeling that everything will be okay.

One practice that's very helpful for parents who work is to take 5 or 10 minutes before coming home to decompress from the days issues. Breathe deeply, meditate or pray, or use visual imagery to put your troubles away. You are not being paid to worry at home about work. Imagine yourself putting your work concerns into a box, closing the lid, and putting it on a shelf labeled "Tomorrow". You and your family need to be able to relax and enjoy your time at home together.

One More Problem
You've had a busy day running here and there trying to get things done and take care of everyone. Maybe you've had a busier week than usual, or this month you've run yourself ragged. It happens, we get tired. Being over-tired tends to make us cranky and snappy. Being overly tired tends to make us not want to deal with "one more problem" situation or activity. This is another circumstance that will happen, so we need to be prepared and teach our kids well.

The first step is to recognize your tiredness before it gets the best of you. Then decide on a recovery plan like taking a nap, having a cup of tea, or relaxing in the recliner for 20 minutes. Explain to your children that you're tired and need a break. "Let me have a cup of coffee and then I'll help you with your homework", "Let mommy relax a few minutes and then we'll make dinner together".

By doing this you are modeling "good behavior" for your children. Children get overtired too, and the usual result is that they get cranky and uncooperative because they don't know how to deal with being overtired. So you are showing them that when we get tired the only real solution is to rest, and it's important to let people know so they will give you time to rest.

When dealing with any of these barriers to discipline, if your children are under 3 explaining won't do much good. You can label feelings and model good behavior, but don't expect them to completely understand or give you the space you need. You may want to get some help. Having a friend, sister, mother or babysitter take care of the kids for a little while while you sort things out or get some rest will pay off in the long run. The way we behave, communicate, and handle our emotions is the first education our children receive, so let's teach them well.   

3 comments:

  1. thanks for following, I'm following you back.

    Oh yes I can totally relate to this subject. I have two very energetic boys and sometimes their energy is not channeled into what I need them to do. I have to remind myself to be patient when I'm going one hundred miles a minute and they are going two hundred miles per second in the opposite direction.

    Hope you're having a wonderful day!

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  2. I understand what you mean. Is not easy raising kids. You have to always be patient with them or they run you off. You also have to put your health into consideration because sometimes it gets to the heart. Thanks for linking up in Exposure 99% hop, following back and i look forward being part of your great blog.

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  3. patience is the key to raising kids....thanks for linking up with us at the exposure 99% bloghop.following you back.

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