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How “Fun” Can Be Your Best Discipline Technique

How “Fun” Can Be Your Best Discipline Technique

    Show me any two people who have fun together frequently and I’ll show you a good relationship. People who have regular fun together like each other and most often respect one another. This is a winning combination when it comes to the parent/child relationship. If both parties feel good around each other there will be less animosity, anger, resentment and discord and more ease, comfort, respect and happiness.

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    To like your kids you must enjoy them regularly. And for them to respond positively to your discipline they must enjoy and like you.
    Unfortunately, in the hustle an bustle of everyday life, many of the daily encounters between parent and child go something like this:

    “Time to get up.”
    “Here’s your breakfast. No TV until you’re done.”
    “Got you backpack?”
    “You don’t have time to with the dog.”
    “Come on, we’re in a hurry!”
    “Don’t forget your coat.”
    “Love you, bye!”
    “How was your day? Got any homework?”
    “Leave your brother alone!”
    “You have to finish your vegetables if you want dessert.”
    “You can play outside for 1 hour. I want you back by 8 o’clock for bed.”
    “Did you brush your teeth?” Goodnight.”

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    Now, how much mutual enjoyment took place on this day? None. The parent saw the child as a bundle of unpleasant tasks, and the child saw the parent as a bundle of directions. No relationship can remain healthy when this kind of interaction is the only feeding it gets.
    The antidote? FUN!

    When I interviewed over a thousand children around the world as to what it is that their mother or father did for them that made them feel totally happy and loved they said, “Spending one-on-one time with me.”
    The possibilities or shared one-on-one fun are endless. Here is a list I’ve compiled over the years after talking to children and families:

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    1) Going out for dinner on a school night while everyone else stays home
    2) Going to a movie
    3) Going shopping
    4) Going for a bike ride
    5) Reading a novel aloud to them
    6) Finger painting
    7) Baking cookies
    8) Playing card/board games
    9) Going for a walk in the park
    10) Going swimming
    11) Doing a collection together (stamps, coins, dolls)
    12) Visiting a museum
    13) Planting a flower or vegetable together

    Shared fun can also come in little doses throughout the day while talking, listening, expressing affection or telling jokes. The impact of these small things is astounding. Let’s redo the scenario described above to illustrate this point. This time, let’s put some FUN into it!

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    “Unfortunately sleepyhead, it’s time to get.” Dad rubs child’s back.”
    “After you demolish your breakfast, you can watch a little TV.”
    “Got you three-ton book bag?”
    “Rufus sure likes you. Okay, let’ get outta here!”
    “You’re moving quicker than I am this morning!”
    “Good job remembering your coat, lovebug.”
    “Love you, bye!”
    “What was the most fun part of your day?”
    “Alan, we don’t bug each other like that. You need to stop.”
    “Only 1 more piece of broccoli, my sweet, and then we can enjoy a nice dessert together.”
    “You can go to Ryan’s house for one hour until 8 o’clock. Have a great time!”
    “Hey, welcome home, lovebug! Let’s head on up to the bathroom to brush those teeth.”
    “Goodnight. I love you. See you in the morning.”

    Lightening up, adding humour and spending some one-on-one time with each child each month is one of the biggest secrets to having a wonderful family life that doesn’t include a lot of stress or need to discipline. Try it and see the difference it can make! Your children will love you for it.

    Photo: Pink Sherbert Photography

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    Last Updated on December 30, 2018

    How to Become an Early Riser and Stay Energetic Throughout the Day

    How to Become an Early Riser and Stay Energetic Throughout the Day

    This article is the 2nd in the 6-part series, Lifehack Challenge: Become An Early Riser In 5 Days.

    If you’d like to become an early riser, there are some things you should know before you run off to set your oft-ignored alarm clock.

    So how to become an early riser?

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    Here are five tips I’ve discovered to be most helpful in making the transition from erratic sleeper to early morning wizard:

    1. Choose to get up before you go to sleep

    You’re not very good at making decisions when you’ve just woken up. You were in the middle of a dream in which [insert celebrity crush of choice here] is serving you breakfast in bed only to be rudely awakened by the harsh tones of your alarm clock. You’re frustrated, angry, confused, and surprised. This is not the time to be making decisions about whether or not you should stay in bed! And yet, most of us leave the first decision of our day to be made in a blur of partial wakefulness.

    No more! If you want to be a consistently early riser, try making your decision to rise at a specific time before you go to sleep the night before. This frees you from making the decision in the morning when you’ve just woken up. Instead of making a decision, you have only to follow through on your decision from the night before. Easier said than done? Of course. But only for the first few times. Eventually your need for raw willpower to get out of bed will diminish and you’ll be the proud parent of a new habit!

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    Steve Pavlina suggests you practice getting out of bed during the day[1] to get a few of the “practice sessions” out of the way without the early morning fog in your head.

    2. Have a plan for your extra time

    Let’s say you’ve actually made it out of bed 2 hours before you normally would. Now what? What are you going to do with all this time you’ve discovered in your day? If you don’t have something planned to do with your extra time, you risk falling for the temptation of a “morning nap” that wipes out all the work you put into getting up.

    What to do? Before you go to bed, make a quick note of what you’d like to get done during your extra hours the following day. Do you have a book to write, paper to read, or garage to clean? Make a plan for your early hours and you’ll do more than protect yourself from backsliding into bed. You’ll get things done and those results will fuel your desire to build rising early into a habit!

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    3. Make rising early a social activity

    While there’s obvious value in joining a Lifehack Challenge in order to get you started as an early riser, your internet buddies just don’t have enough pull to make your new habit stick in the long term. The same cannot be said for the people you spend time with as part of your early morning routine.

    Sure, you could choose to read blogs for two hours every morning. But wouldn’t it be great to join an early breakfast club, running group, or play chess in the park at 5am? The more people you get involved in making your new habit a daily part of your life, the easier it’ll be to succeed.

    4. Don’t use an alarm that makes you angry

    If we’re all wired differently, why do we all insist on torturing ourselves with the same sort of alarm each morning? I spent years trying to wake up before my alarm went off so I wouldn’t have to hear it. I got pretty good, too. Then I started using a cellphone as my alarm clock and quickly realized that different ring tones irritated me less but worked just as well to wake me up. I now use the ring tone alarm as a back up for my bedside lamp plugged in to a timer.

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    When the bright light doesn’t work, the cellphone picks up the slack and I wake up on time. The lesson learned? Experiment a bit and see what works best for you. Light, sound, smells, temperature, or even some contraption that dumps water on you might be more pleasant than your old alarm clock. Give something new a try!

    5. Get your blood flowing right after waking

    If you don’t have a neighbor you can pick fights with at 5am you’ll have to settle with a more mundane exercise. It doesn’t take much to get your blood flowing and chase the sleep from your head. Just pick something you don’t mind doing and go through the motions until your heart rate is up. Jumping rope, push-ups, crunches, or a few minutes of yoga are typically enough to do the trick. (Just don’t do anything your doctor hasn’t approved.)

    If you live in a beautiful part of the world like me, you might want to use a bit of your early morning to go for a walk and enjoy the beauty of the world around you. If you have a coffee shop open within walking distance, dragging yourself out of bed for a cup of coffee to savor on your walk home as the world wakes around you is a wonderful experience. Try it!

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    Featured photo credit: Frank Vex via unsplash.com

    Reference

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