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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 February 25, 2020

    What Everyone Is Wrong About Achieving Inbox Zero

    What Everyone Is Wrong About Achieving Inbox Zero

    Ah, Inbox Zero. An achievement that so many of us long for. It’s elusive. It’s a productivity benchmark. It’s an ongoing battle.

    It’s also unnecessary.

    Don’t get me wrong, the way Inbox Zero was initially termed is incredibly valuable. Merlin Mann coined the phrase years ago and what he has defined it as goes well beyond the term itself.[1]

    Yet people have created their own definition of Inbox Zero. They’re not using it with the intent that Mann suggested. Instead, it’s become about having nothing left in immediate view. It’s become about getting your email inbox to zero messages or having an empty inbox on your desk that was once filled with papers. It’s become about removing visual clutter.

    But it’s not about that. Not at all.

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    Here’s what inbox zero actually is, as defined by Mann:

    “It’s about how to reclaim your email, your atten­tion, and your life. That “zero?” It’s not how many mes­sages are in your inbox–it’s how much of your own brain is in that inbox. Especially when you don’t want it to be. That’s it.” – Merlin Mann

    The Fake Inbox Zero

    The sense of fulfillment one gets from clearing out everything in your inbox is temporary at best, disappointing at worst. Often we find that we’re shooting for Inbox Zero just so that we can say that we’ve got “everything done that needed to be done”. That’s simply not the case.

    Certainly, by removing all of your things that sit in your inbox means that they are either taken care of or are well on their way to being taken care of. The old saying “out of sight, out of mind” is often applied to clearing out your inbox. But unless you’ve actually done something with the stuff, it’s either not worth having in your inbox in the first place or is still sitting in your “mental inbox”.

    You have to do something with the stuff, and for many people, that is a hard thing to do. That’s why Inbox Zero – as defined by Mann – is not achieved as often as many people would like to believe. It’s this “watered down” concept of Inbox Zero that is completed instead. You’ve got no email in your inbox and you’ve got no paper on your desk’s inbox. So that must mean you’re at Inbox Zero.

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    Until the next email arrives or the next document comes your way. Then you work to get rid of those as quickly as possible so that you can get back to Inbox Zero: The Lesser again. If it’s something that can be dealt with quickly, then you get there. But if they require more time, then soon you’ve got more stuff in your inboxes. So you switch up tasks to get to the things that don’t require as much time or attention so that you can get closer to this stripped down variation of Inbox Zero.

    However, until you deal with the bigger items, you don’t quite get there. Some people feel as if they’ve let themselves (or others) down if they don’t get there. And that, quite frankly, is silly. That’s why this particular version of Inbox Zero doesn’t work.

    The Ultimate Way to Get to Inbox Zero

    So what’s the ultimate way to get to Inbox Zero?

    Have zero inboxes.

    The inbox is meant to be a stop along the way to your final destination. It’s the place where stuff sits until you’re ready to put it in the place where it sits until you’re ready to deal with it.

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    So why not skip the inbox altogether? Why not put it in the place where it sits until you’re ready to deal with it? Because that requires immediate action. It means you need to give the item some thought and attention.

    You need to step back and look at it rather than file it. That’s why we have a catch-all inbox, both for email and for analog items. It allows us to only look at these things when we’re ready to do so.

    The funny thing is that we can decide when we’re ready to without actually looking at the inbox beforehand. We can look at things on our own watch rather than when we are alerted to or feel the need to.

    There is no reason why you need an inbox at all to store things for longer than it sits there before you see it. None. It’s a choice. And the choice you should be making is how to deal with things when you first see them, rather than when to deal with things you haven’t looked at yet.

    Stop Faking It

    Seeing things in your inboxes is simply using your sight. Looking at things in your inbox when you first see them is using insight.

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    Stop checking email more than twice per day. Turn off your alerts. Put your desk’s inbox somewhere that it can be accessed by others and only accessed by you when you’re ready to deal with what’s in it. Don’t put it on your desk – that’s productivity poison.

    If you want to get to Inbox Zero — the real Inbox Zero — then get rid of those stops along the way. You’ll find that by doing that, you’ll be getting more of the stuff you really want done finished much faster, rather than see them moving along at the speed of not much more than zero.

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    Featured photo credit: Web Hosting via unsplash.com

    Reference

    [1] Merlin Mann: Inbox Zero

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