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What Do Kids Think About Love?

What Do Kids Think About Love?

Kids perspective on life is different to ours in many ways. Never was this more true than when a group of young kids were asked what they think about love. The results were amazing. No two kids gave the same response. Many of them drew from their life experiences – some assumed love just had to do with being part of a couple. But one thing’s for sure they were honest in their responses and that’s where the magic lies. To get a taste of what I mean, have a look at the short video where a sample of kids answer that same question.

Now have a read below at the many responses these kids gave when asked what they thought about love. Some will amaze you, others will make you smile and some of them will make you think. Kids are wise beyond their years – I’m sure you’ll agree with me that they see what we don’t and if we are willing to listen they can teach us a thing or two.

1. They’re Hard on Love

“If falling in love is anything like learning how to spell, I don’t want to do it. It takes too long.”  ~Glen age 7

“It gives me a headache to think about that stuff. I’m only a kid. I don’t need that kind of trouble.” ~ Kenny age 7

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“I’m not rushing into love – I’m finding fourth grade hard enough.” ~ Regina age 10

“Love is foolish, but I still might try it sometime”. ~ Floyd age 9

2. They Get Deep About Love

“When someone loves you, the way they say your name is different. You just know your name is safe in their mouth.” ~ Billy age 4

“Love is what’s in the room with you at Christmas if you stop opening presents and listen.” ~ Bobby age 7

“No-one is sure why it happens but I heard it has something to do with how you smell. That’s why perfume and deodorant are so popular.” ~ Mae age 9

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3. They’re Wise About Love

“You really shouldn’t say ‘I love you’ unless you mean it. But if you mean it, you should say it a lot. People forget.” ~ Jessica age 8

“One of you should know how to write a check, because even if you have tons of love there are going to be a lot of bills.” ~ Ava age 8

“If you want to learn to love better, you should start with a friend who you hate.” ~ Nikka age 6

4. They’re Cute About Love

“Love is when your puppy licks your face, even after you left him alone all day.” ~MaryAnne age 4

“One of the people has freckles, so he finds someone else who has freckles too.” ~ Andrew age 6

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“When you love somebody your eyelashes go up and down and little stars come out of you.” ~ Karen age 7

5. They Think Love is Cringeworthy

“Love is when Mommy sees Daddy on the toilet and she doesn’t think it’s gross.” ~ Mark age 6

“Love is when you kiss all the time. Then when you get tired of kissing you still want to be together and  you talk more. Mommy and Daddy are like that, they look gross when they kiss.” ~ Emily age 8

6. They Think Love is About Sacrifice

“Love is when Mommy gives Daddy the best piece of chicken.”

~ Elaine age 5 

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“Love is when my Mommy makes coffee for my Daddy and she takes a sip before she gives it to him to make sure it tastes okay.” ~ Danny age 7

7. They Think Love is About Being Old

“When my grandmother got arthritis she couldn’t bend down and paint her toenails anymore. So my grandfather does it for her all the time, even when his hands got arthritis too. That’s love.” ~ Rebecca age 8

“Love is like a little old woman and a little old man who are still friends, even after they know each other so well.” ~ Tommy age 6

I’m sure you’ll agree that our kids can be so intuitive, clever and creative. After reading the above we should be confident that the future is safe in the hands of these brilliant kids. Whoever would have thought that love could be described in so many wonderful ways.

I wish all the kids in the world a life full of love and joy, without pain and heartbreak and without too many bills or problems with arthritis!

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Published on February 11, 2021

3 Positive Discipline Strategies That Are Best For Your Child

3 Positive Discipline Strategies That Are Best For Your Child

I’m old enough to remember how the cane at school was used for punishment. My dad is old enough to think that banning corporal punishment in schools resulted in today’s poorly disciplined youth. With all of this as my early experiences, there was a time when I would have been better assigned to write about how to negatively discipline your child.

What changed? Thankfully, my wife showed me different approaches for discipline that were very positive. Plus, I was open to learning.

What has not changed is that kids are full of problems with impulses and emotions that flip from sad to happy, then angry in a moment. Though we’re not that different as adults with stress, anxiety, lack of sleep, and stimulants such as sugar and caffeine in our diets.

Punishment as Discipline?

What this means is that we usually take the easy path when a child misbehaves and punish them. Punishment may solve an isolated problem, but it’s not really teaching the kids anything useful in the long term.

Probably it’s time for me to be clear about what I mean by punishment and discipline as these terms are often used interchangeably, but they are quite different.

Discipline VS. Punishment

Punishment is where we inflict pain or suffering on our child as a penalty. Discipline means to teach. They’re quite the opposite, but you’ll notice that teachers, parents, and coaches often confuse the two words.

So, as parents, we have to have clear goals to teach our kids. It’s a long-term plan—using strategies that will have the longest-lasting impact on our kids are the best use of our time and energy.

If you’re clear about what you want to achieve, then it becomes easier to find the best strategy. The better we are at responding when our kids misbehave or do not follow our guidance, the better the results are going to be.

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3 Positive Discipline Strategies for Your Child

Stay with me as I appreciate that a lot of people who read these blogs do not always have children with impulse control. We’ve had a lot of kids in our martial arts classes that were the complete opposite. They had concentration issues, hyperactive, and disruptive to the other children.

The easy solution is to punish their parents by removing the kids from the class or punish the child with penalties such as time outs and burpees. Yes, it was tempting to do all of this, but one of our club values is that we pull you up rather than push you down.

This means it’s a long-term gain to build trust and confidence, which is destroyed by constant punishments.

Here are the discipline strategies we used to build trust and confidence with these hyperactive kids.

1. Patience

The first positive discipline strategy is to simply be patient. The more patient you are, the more likely you are to get results. Remember I said that we need to build trust and connection. You’ll get further with this goal using patience.

As a coach, sometimes I was not the best person for this role, but we had other coaches in the club that could step in here. As a parent, you may not have this luxury, so it’s really important to recognize any improvements that you see and celebrate them.

2. Redirection

The second strategy we use is redirection. It’s important with a redirection to take “no” out of the equation. Choices are a great alternative.

Imagine a scenario where you’re in a restaurant and your kid is wailing. The hard part here is getting your child to stop screaming long enough for you to build a connection. Most parents have calming strategies and if you practice them with your child, they are more likely to be effective.

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In the first moment of calm, you can say “Your choice to scream and cry in public is not a good one. It would be best to say, Dad. What can I do to get ice-cream?” You can replace this with an appropriate option.

The challenge with being calm and redirecting is that we need to be clear-minded, focused, and really engaged at the moment. If you’re on your phone, talking with friends or family, thinking about work or the bills, you’ll miss this opportunity to discipline in a way that has long-term benefits.

3. Repair and Ground Rules

The third positive discipline strategy is to repair and use ground rules. Once you’ve given the better option and it has been taken, you have a chance to repair this behavior to lessen its occurrence to better yet, prevent it from happening again. And by setting appropriate ground rules, you can make this a long-term win by helping your child improve their behavior.

It’s these ground rules that help you correct the poor choices of your child and direct the behavior that you want to see.

Consequences Versus Ultimatums

When I was a child and being punished. My parents worked in a busy business for long hours, so their default was to go to ultimatums. “Do that again and you’re grounded for a week,” or “If I catch you doing X, you’ll go to bed without dinner”.

Looking back, this worked to a point. But the flip side is that I remembered more of the ultimatums than the happier times. I’ve learned through trial and error with my own kids that consequences are more effective while not breaking down trust.

What to Do When Ground Rules Get Broken?

It’s on the consequences that you use when the ground rules are broken.

In the martial arts class, when the hyperactive student breaks the ground rules. They would miss a turn in a game or go to the back of the line in a queue. We do not want to shame the child by isolating them. But on the flip side, there should be clear ground rules and proportionate consequences.

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Yes, there are times when we would like to exclude the student from the class, the club, and even the universe. Again, it’s here that patience is so important and probably impulse control too. With an attainable consequence, you can maintain trust and you’re more likely to get the long-term behavior that you’re looking to achieve.

Interestingly, we would occasionally hear a strategy from parents that little Kevin has been misbehaving at home with his sister or something similar. He likes martial arts training, so the parent would react by removing Kevin from the martial arts class as a punishment.

We would suggest that this would remove Kevin from an environment where he is behaving positively. Removing him from this is likely to be detrimental to the change you would like to see. He may even feel shame when he returns to the class and loses all the progress he’s made.

Alternatives to Punishment

Another option is to tell Kevin to write a letter to his sister, apologizing for his behavior, and explaining how he is going to behave in the future.

If your child is too young to write, give the apology face to face. For the apology to feel sincere, there is some value to pre-framing or practicing this between yourself and your child before they give it to the intended person.

Don’t expect them to know the ground rules or what you’re thinking! It will be clearer to your child and better received with some practice. You can practice along the lines of: “X is the behavior I did, Y is what I should have done, and Z is my promise to you for how I’m going to act in the future.” You can replace XYZ with the appropriate actions.

It does not need to be a letter or in person, it can even be a video. But there has to be an intention to repair the broken ground rule. If you try these strategies, that is become fully engaged with them and you’re still getting nowhere.

But what to do if these strategies do not work? Then there is plenty to gain by seeking the help of an expert. Chances are that something is interfering or limiting their development.

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This does not mean that your child has a neurological deficiency, although this may be the root cause. But it means that you can get an objective view and help on how to create the changes that you would like to see. Remember that using positive discipline strategies is better than mere punishment.

There are groups that you can chat with for help. Family Lives UK has the aim of ensuring that all parents have somewhere to turn before they reached a crisis point. The NSPCC also provides a useful guide to positive parenting that you can download.[1]

Bottom Line

So, there your go, the three takeaways on strategies you can use for positively disciplining your child. The first one is about you! Be patient, be present, and think about what is best for the long term. AKA, avoid ultimatums and punishment. The second is to use a redirect, then repair and repeat (ground rules) as your 3-step method of discipline.

Using these positive discipline strategies require you to be fully engaged with your child. Again, being impulsive breaks trust and you lose some of the gains you’ve both worked hard to achieve.

Lastly, consequences are better than punishment. Plus, avoid shaming, especially in public at all costs.

I hope this blog has been useful, and remember that you should be more focused on repairing bad behavior because being proactive and encouraging good behavior with rewards, fun, and positive emotions takes less effort than repairing the bad.

More Tips on How To Discipline Your Child

Featured photo credit: Leo Rivas via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] NSPCC Learning: Positive parenting

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