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How To Discipline Your Kids Using Words

How To Discipline Your Kids Using Words

When our babies become toddlers they realize that they are a separate person from us, their parents.  They develop their own will and sense of self. This is a good thing, however, the challenge lies in finding the balance between allowing our kids to be their own person and falling in line with what is expected of them.

We need to exercise discipline for the sake of everyone, so that home life runs smoothly and so that our kids grow up with respect for themselves, for others and for their environment. Using physical force or even forcing your will on a child is just not that way to go. It doesn’t work – in fact it does more harm than good.

Here are some ways to discipline your kids using your words and clever body language.

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1. Settle Your Child

If your child is upset and you’re trying to give them a set of instructions they simply won’t be able to listen to you. Don’t jump in to give orders when your child is upset. Wait with them until the crying has calmed down and then try to address the topic.

2. Start by Saying “I WANT”

Rather than just giving an order like “Stand up” try, ” I want you to stand up.” Instead of “Leave your sister’s hair alone” try, ” I want you to leave your sister’s hair alone.” This works well for children who don’t like to be ordered around. You are asking for their co-operation by appealing to their emotions and they are more likely to agree.

3. Walk Before You Talk

Instead of yelling from across the room or worse still from one room to another (we all do it), walk to wherever your child is and deliver your request face to face. Remember you are the one that has got to model good behavior. If they see you yelling all the time they’ll do the same thing in years to come with their own kids.

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4. Connect Before You Talk

There’s no point in asking your kids to do anything for you if you have your back to them, or you’re in another room. Make your way to where they are and face them, getting down to their level. Make sure they give you full eye contact while you speak to them. If the T.V is switched on in the background put it on pause until the conversation is over. Kids have a short attention span and they get engrossed in what they are doing. It’s very important to make sure they are full participants in the conversation by eliminating all distractions and making sure you are both face to face.

5. Use the Right Language

It can be really helpful to address a problem with a “when” and “then” solution. So for example, if you want your child to go upstairs and tidy their room but they want to go to their friends house – rather than simply laying down the law “Tidy your room now” you could try ” When you have finished tidying your room, of course you can go to your friends house.” Saying “when you tidy….” is preferable to saying “If you tidy…” as the former implies that you expect the job to be done. You are asserting your authority in a nice way that reduces the likely hood of a battle.

6. Give Attractive Choices

If your child wants something you’re not in a position to give – give them another option “You can’t go to the park today but we can go ice skating.” Although it’s not what they want to hear this is better than a flat out “No.”

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7. Keep it Short

There’s really no need to ramble on when you are disciplining you kids. Keep it short and to the point for very small kids. Watch how they play with each other – they only string a few words together at a time – try to do the same. When you see your kids eyes glaze over as you continue to talk  -you have lost them – they are no longer listening. Teenagers on the other hand regard too much of this type of conversation as nagging.

8. Message Them

You can leave little notes around for your kids or use messenger or text older kids. I’ve tried this and it works a treat. “I want you to do one hour of study and then we can have some of that pie we got at the store.” My teenager loved it when sent him a request by text  and it worked! Kids love finding notes around the house for them. I also write “Eat Me” on their bananas and draw a little face. Sometimes they just prefer to get a break from our voices.

9. End the Conversation

If something has been decided – little Jonny is not going to the mall on his own – then end the conversation and leave it at that. If you mean business then use a tone of voice that conveys that sentiment. Jonny will understand that he only hears that tone when you mean what you say.

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10. Be Consistent

If you say “No” mean no. If you say “No” and later turn around and say “Yes” you are making your job a whole lot harder. Your kids will not take you seriously until you become consistent with your directions and responses. I know it’s difficult but life is sweet when they know who’s the boss.

When you first try to turn things around, saying “No” consistently – you will have tantrums to deal with. No matter what age the child – Let them tantrum away, so long as they don’t hurt anyone. Stay calm and let them exhaust themselves. Don’t give up. Remember you are in charge!

When we are rested and free from stress it is easier to play by these rules. But in reality we get caught up in our daily struggles and everything we learn goes out the window. That said, if we manage to get in the habit of using the right language, tone and approach at the right times we will be making life so much easier for ourselves and for our kids in the longer term.

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Published on January 30, 2019

How to Support a Working Mother as a Working Father

How to Support a Working Mother as a Working Father

In roughly 60 percent of two-parent households with children under the age of 18, both parents work full time. But who takes time off work when the kids are sick in your house? And if you are a manager, how do you react when a man says he needs time to take his baby to the pediatrician?

The sad truth is, the default in many companies and families is to value the man’s work over the woman’s—even when there is no significant difference in their professional obligations or compensation. This translates into stereotypes in the workplace that women are the primary caregivers, which can negatively impact women’s success on the job and their upward mobility.

According to a Pew Research Center analysis of long-term time-use data (1965–2011), fathers in dual-income couples devote significantly less time than mothers do to child care.[1] Dads are doing more than twice as much housework as they used to (from an average of about four hours per week to about 10 hours), but there is still a significant imbalance.

This is not just an issue between spouses; it’s a workplace culture issue. In many offices, it is still taboo for dads to openly express that they have family obligations that need their attention. In contrast, the assumption that moms will be on the front lines of any family crisis is one that runs deep.

Consider an example from my company. A few years back, one of our team members joined us for an off-site meeting soon after returning from maternity leave. Not even two hours into her trip, her husband called to say that the baby had been crying nonstop. While there was little our colleague could practically do to help with the situation, this call was clearly unsettling, and the result was that her attention was divided for the rest of an important business dinner.

This was her first night away since the baby’s birth, and I know that her spouse had already been on several business trips before this event. Yet, I doubt she called him during his conferences to ask child-care questions. Like so many moms everywhere, she was expected to figure things out on her own.

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The numbers show that this story is far from the exception. In another Pew survey, 47 percent of dual-income parents agreed that the moms take on more of the work when a child gets sick.[2] In addition, 39 percent of working mothers said they had taken a significant amount of time off from work to care for their child compared to just 24 percent of working fathers. Mothers are also more likely than fathers (27 percent to 10 percent) to say they had quit their job at some point for family reasons.

Before any amazing stay-at-home-dads post an angry rebuttal comment, I want to be very clear that I am not judging how families choose to divide and conquer their personal and professional responsibilities; that’s 100 percent their prerogative. Rather, I am taking aim at the culture of inequity that persists even when spouses have similar or identical professional responsibilities. This is an important issue for all of us because we are leaving untapped business and human potential on the table.

What’s more, I think my fellow men can do a lot about this. For those out there who still privately think that being a good dad just means helping out mom, it’s time to man up. Stop expecting working partners—who have similar professional responsibilities—to bear the majority of the child-care responsibilities as well.

Consider these ways to support your working spouse:

1. Have higher expectations for yourself as a father; you are a parent, not a babysitter.

Know who your pediatrician is and how to reach him or her. Have a back-up plan for transportation and emergency coverage.

Don’t simply expect your partner to manage all these invisible tasks on her own. Parenting takes effort and preparation for the unexpected.

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As in other areas of life, the way to build confidence is to learn by doing. Moms aren’t born knowing how to do this stuff any more than dads are.

2. Treat your partner the way you’d want to be treated.

I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve heard a man on a business trip say to his wife on a call something to the effect of, “I am in the middle of a meeting. What do you want me to do about it?”

However, when the tables are turned, men often make that same call at the first sign of trouble.

Distractions like this make it difficult to focus and engage with work, which perpetuates the stereotype that working moms aren’t sufficiently committed.

When you’re in charge of the kids, do what she would do: Figure it out.

3. When you need to take care of your kids, don’t make an excuse that revolves around your partner’s availability.

This implies that the children are her first priority and your second.

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I admit I have been guilty in the past of telling clients, “I have the kids today because my wife had something she could not move.” What I should have said was, “I’m taking care of my kids today.”

Why is it so hard for men to admit they have personal responsibilities? Remember that you are setting an example for your sons and daughters, and do the right thing.

4. As a manager, be supportive of both your male and female colleagues when unexpected situations arise at home.

No one likes or wants disruptions, but life happens, and everyone will face a day when the troubling phone call comes from his sitter, her school nurse, or even elderly parents.

Accommodating personal needs is not a sign of weakness as a leader. Employees will be more likely to do great work if they know that you care about their personal obligations and family—and show them that you care about your own.

5. Don’t keep score or track time.

At home, it’s juvenile to get into debates about who last changed a diaper or did the dishes; everyone needs to contribute, but the big picture is what matters. Is everyone healthy and getting enough sleep? Are you enjoying each other’s company?

In business, too, avoid the trap of punching a clock. The focus should be on outcomes and performance rather than effort and inputs. That’s the way to maintain momentum toward overall goals.

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The Bottom Line

To be clear, I recognize that a great many working dads are doing a terrific job both on the home front and in their professional lives. My concern is that these standouts often aren’t visible to their colleagues; they intentionally or inadvertently let their work as parents fly under the radar. Dads need to be open and honest about family responsibilities to change perceptions in the workplace.

The question “How do you balance it all?” should not be something that’s just asked of women. Frankly, no one can answer that question. Juggling a career and parental responsibilities is tough. At times, really tough.

But it’s something that more parents should be doing together, as a team. This can be a real bonus for the couple relationship as well, because nothing gets in the way of good partnership faster than feelings of inequity.

On the plus side, I can tell you that parenting skills really do get better with practice—and that’s great for people of both sexes. I think our cultural expectations that women are the “nurturers” and men are the “providers” needs to evolve. Expanding these definitions will open the doors to richer contributions from everyone, because women can and should be both—and so should men.

Featured photo credit: NeONBRAND via unsplash.com

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