In the article “The Best Way To ‘Discipline Without Damage,’ From Toddlers To Teens” written by Andy Hinds, In referring to the book, Discipline Without Damage: How to Get Your Kids to Behave Without Messing Them Up, written by Dr. Vanessa Lapointe, the author summarizes how most parenting techniques can be replaced by a more concise list in order to connect with your child. Connecting with your child and understanding their emotional development is key. By using your emotional connection with your child to work out behavioral problems together focuses on your child’s feelings rather than their actions. Your child will respect you and your expectations for what “good behavior” is in your family and be able to follow them more appropriately when they fit their emotional development.
Tired of putting your child in timeouts, using behavior charts to motivate them to behave better, or rewarding them for not acting out? If yes, then think about replacing your parenting techniques with these summarized skills to make it easier. Begin by recognizing that …
Children Have Needs
Keep in mind that your child has not reached their full maturity; that he or she can not quite grasp control over their emotions and actions at this time in their life at their current brain development. Try focusing less on your child’s behavior and more on your own behavior to see if you are still using imagination, patience, and compassion (Hinds) to create a trusted bond between you and your child. Use your emotional connection with your child to center your attention around…
Unfolding your child’s personality
Knowing that your child needs your understanding and acceptance of your child’s feelings
It’s just a phase
As a parent, you may have demands, but your child’s brain “might not yet have the capacity to meet them” (Hinds). When this happens, try not fighting against the natural stages of child’s kid’s psychological and emotional development (Hinds), instead, realize that it is just a phase they are going through no matter how old they are. Ranging from 2- 17 years of age, children tend to...
Start off with having no impulse control where they can not regulate their meltdowns and frustration (ages 2-3)
Like testing their limits and exploring more of what they want to do instead of following you (ages 3-4)
Become more verbal and somewhat aggressive (ages 3-4)
Become more independent (ages 5-7)
Get better at regulating themselves (ages 5-7)
Start following their passions and interests in which they may need some guidance (ages 8-10)
Develop strong opinions and push boundaries (ages 11-12)
Become moodier (ages 12-17)
Now knowing that as your child grows, they will develop into their own individual, you as adults can “Adjust your expectations to your kids’ developmental stage” (Hinds).
How Damage-Free Discipline Works On The Ground
If you are tired of yelling and being frustrated with your child, attempt to perceive how your child feels and what it feels like to be yelled at for doing something wrong. Do you want your child to feel like every time they do something wrong they will be yelled at? Instead, try talking in a calm tone of voice and ask them if they need help with anything where you can figure out their problems together and make that parent-child bond even stronger.
Hinds suggests that parents can
Respond with connection: “You look like you are having a hard time,” “I will help you. Come with me and we will figure this out.”
Stay low: The more upset the kid is, the calmer you need to be
Answer to 5: Give a brief (5-word max) reminder of what your child needs to know at the moment: “Gentle hands.” “Kind words.” “That must stop.” “Put it down.”
Maintain Firmness With Kindness: Use a “no/I know” approach. Say no to what they can’t have and then acknowledge their feelings by saying “I know you are or feel …”
Give No Explanation: maintain your decision with no exceptions
Debrief Once The Dust Settles: Once your child has accepted the boundary you have established or enforced, remind them of the incident and its positive resolution along with what they could have learned from it.
As a result, your child will feel more connected with you because both of you have learned and practiced how to control your frustration, as well as understand where each other are coming from. This understanding and practice make your days go smoother.
~Written by Lily Schmitt and Tanya L. Hilber, PsyD
Lapointe, Vanessa. “Discipline Without Damage: How to Get Your Kids to Behave Without Messing Them Up.” (2016). Canada: LifeTree Media Ltd.
Hinds, Andy. “The best way to discipline, from toddlers to teens.” (2016, October 21). Retrieved from www.fatherly.com.