When it comes to parenting, everyone is a critic. Your mother tells you that there is no harm in spanking. Your sister tells you that "time-out" is too harsh for children. Even the cashier at the local supermarket has an opinion on how to discipline your child. While everyone disciplines their child differently, there are very clear mistakes that parents make when it comes to the topic. Below is a list of these most common mistakes and how to stop yourself from making them.
Expecting Too Much
Whether you are sitting at church or in line at a store, once your toddler starts to get too loud, you immediately hush them. It doesn't take two seconds before your child is getting loud again. It's very frustrating and by the third time, you find yourself snapping at your toddler.
It may be embarrassing for you to have the child that is "the loud one", but it is completely normal. Toddlers haven't quite learned about impulse control yet and the last thing they want to do is something they see as boring. Simply put, when your child starts getting a little loud, they are trying to find something to occupy their mind, and snapping at them isn't going to solve the problem. Plan ahead for this situation. If you are going to church, bring a coloring book or a noiseless toy your child can play with. If you are standing in a long line, play a simple hand game that will make your toddler giggle.
Being Too Negative
Parents are constantly telling their children "no" or "you can't do that". Limits and boundaries are important for any child; however, the more you say "no", the more boring the word becomes. It loses its meaning after a while and children will stop listening to it.
Don't just tell your children not to do something. You have to explain to them why they can't do it. Children are naturally curious creatures and if you do not elaborate on why they can't do something, they will go and find out for themselves. Also, after you tell your child what they can't do, you should be pointing them in the direction of what they can do. For example, instead of just telling your child not to tip back on a chair, tell them that you sit in the chair the right way so no one gets hurt. A little explanation goes a long way with a child.
Parents have a habit of getting involved in everything their child does, which can be a bad thing. You hear your children bickering and you immediately step in. This is only going to make you exhausted. Sometimes children do things just to get a reaction. Once you give them that reaction, they will continue doing what you reacted to.
There is a strategy that parents use called "watchful waiting". If what your child is doing isn't causing harm to themselves or others, just wait and see what happens. Don't let them know that you are observing them because that will show a reaction. Just sit back and continue what you are doing while having an open ear to them. If you don't respond to the behavior, it may stop on its own.
Everyone is going to have an opinion about how you discipline your child--there is no getting around it. While there isn't just one way to do it, there are common mistakes that all parents make. By following the list above, you will be ahead of the game when it comes to your family.
Talk to a school like Sammamish Montessori School for more help.