Top Parenting Tips From Experienced Teachers

If you have children, you may have noticed that they can behave in one way at home and in another way at school, especially if their behavior at school is better. While this is common, it can be annoying. What are teachers doing and you are not? Of course, a lot depends on family dynamics, power, and the impressions of other children. This definitely doesn’t mean that you are a bad parent and that your child’s teacher knows best. But that doesn’t mean you won’t be able to benefit from hearing about some of the teachers’ tricks hidden in your sleeves. Here are a few:

Avoid reward and punishment systems

According to Jane Nelsen, editor D. and Kelly Gfröhrer, Ph.D. , who is the co-author of the best-selling series Positive Discipline . For example, they say that giving your child stickers to read books can limit their reading for pleasure (and not just for fun). At the same time, punishing children for not reading enough is also not a good tactic.

In fact, Nelsen and Gfröhrer say this kind of punishment can lead to what they call “four rupees of punishment”:

Resentment : “This is unfair. I can’t trust adults. “

Rebellion : “I will do the exact opposite to prove that I do not need to do them in their opinion.”

Revenge : “Now they are winning, but I will win back.”

Retreat : This can manifest itself in the form of meanness (“I won’t get caught next time”) or low self-esteem (“I’m a bad person”).

Select “connect before fix”

Rather than focusing on reward and / or punishment, Nelsen and Gfröhrer suggest using the “connect before fix” method, which they say is the best way to stimulate behavior change and involves finding solutions and working together to solve problems. Here are some examples:

Communication: Confirm feelings: “I see you are upset and angry.” Amendment: “It’s okay to feel what you feel, but you can’t kick it. What else could you do? “

Communication: Verbalize the concern, “I care about what you say.” Amendment: “Let’s take time to sit together and discuss solutions that are respectful to everyone.”

Be a Model of Good Behavior

If you want your children to behave in a certain way, you should do the same. Preschool teacher Stephanie Byrne-Biancardi at A Fine Parent explains that it is very important when raising children to be mindful of what you say and how you say it – in addition to the way you act. And this is not only when you are talking to your children: model the type of communication and behavior you want from your child when you also interact with other people. “Simulation provides visual cues about what is acceptable behavior and indirectly reinforces the appropriate course of action,” she explains.

Use prevention as a discipline tool

Want to make sure your child isn’t doing something? The easiest way to do this, according to Byrne-Biancardi, is to prevent it in the first place . She explains that prevention is not only an effective form of discipline, but also supports self-help skills and boosts self-esteem. She gives such examples:

Why should I tell my child a million times a day not to go downstairs when I can install a safety gate? Or I do some extra work for myself, lifting the kids to the sink every time they need to wash their hands, while placing a stool by the sink allows them to access soap, water, and paper towels on their own.

In other words, plan ahead and be as active as possible.

Teach your child to resolve conflicts

Your child will not always get his way, and it is better for him to learn this early. One way to do this is to teach them how to resolve conflicts, including active listening, accepting criticism, and respecting the opinions of others, according to John H. Werry, MD, president of The Parent Institute . In his report on School Administrator’s Discipline Tips All Parents Should Know, he explains the importance of encouraging parents to communicate in the event of conflict. This includes talking openly about problems, avoiding the blame game, being willing to cooperate and compromise, and being a good listener.

An earlier version of this story originally appeared on A Fine Parent and was republished on Lifehacker 1/15/15. It was updated on 10/25/19 to provide more complete and up-to-date information.


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