Tried and True Techniques

What are you tried and true discipline techniques? I'm open to ideas for various ages and personalities. I've grown tired of using time-out.

10 comments: said...

In 20 years of working with preschool age children, including my two, now aged 18 years & 4 years, I have never once used time outs. I do NOT punish children, especially toddlers. I am a very positive person, with a very positive outlook on just about everything. When a small child does something that I don't like, I talk to them, I teach them, I get them thinking for themselves. This teaches the child self-discipline & self-regulation. Example, if a child were to bite another child, we would immediately go into sympathy mode, focussing on comforting the biten child, and speaking about the bobo. Asking ourselves outloud, "is biting nice?" NOOOO. Does biting hurt? Yeeeeees. Biting makes you hurt. Biting makes you sad. Then, Id ask the child who bit, should we bite others?? Nooooo.. even if the child is an infant. I just repeat what needs to be said several times, to get in into the small childs head. If a child were to color on a wall, same thing. Id ask, where do we like to color? We like to color on paper only! Yes, papaer only. Coloring on walls makes me sad. The child would naturally become a part of the process, to learn, so in situation #1, he would help the child who was bit & with situation #2, he would help clean the wall. That's what I call natural consequences. It works very well. Small children are learning what's right and what's wrong. There is no need to ever isolate them on a time out, or to physically abuse them by striking them. Show children respect for their feelings & understand if they're not doing something correctly, its your job to teach them.

princess said...

Time out can be used for the child to cool down/regroup. Its not some evil punishment, pp.

MissMannah said...

Thank you! I was beginning to think I was the only one who didn't use time out! I am so glad other people are beginning to see they don't work.

OP, I use preventative discipline whenever possible. With toddlers, simply taking away things you don't want them to mess with (before they see it) and keeping them on a strict nap/meal schedule can help immensely. With preschoolers, talk to them! I like to get their insights of good and bad behavior--that way if we both can agree that hitting hurts (for example), then you can refer back to that if he does hit. Say "Remember we talked about how much hitting hurts?" When you get a child to agree to a rule, he is much more likely to follow through with it and feel remorse if he breaks it.

Children deserve just as much respect as we do and saying "You did something I didn't like. Go sit by yourself." is not being respectful. Finding out why he is behaving the way he is would be much more respectful.

Tales from the (Nanny)Hood said...

I like to ask little people if they need a time out to calm down. If they do, then they can go and sit quietly until they choose to come back and re-join me.

Not punitive, not punishment, but a way for them to learn to develop self-control and, eventually, self-discipline.

Now, I will PUT kids in TO on rare occasions, and then I use the traditional "minute per age " method of timekeeping.

I also use my "nanny voice" and my "nanny face" to corral bad behaviors.

And I give kids as young as 6 months clear rules and expectations of how I want them to behave. None of them get it right away, but over time, they do, and when kids know how you WANT them to act, they can help to manage their own behavior.

I also think that when it comes to behaviors you dislike or hate, you need to work to extinguish them one at a time. If a kid is a biter, that's HUGE, and needs to be dealt with first before tackling whining, food tossing, or whatever.

Choose your battles wisely, don't fight too many fronts at once, and decide what hill you are prepared to die on.

Bethany said...

1. I don't use official time outs for kids younger than 3 years of age and then it's only for extreme offenses and follows the traditinal method.

2. I do something called take 5 that I had left over from my preschool day. Kids do a quiet activity regroups , and we push the reset button.

3. For very young children infants & toddlers lots of redirection and paying attention to their schedules. Don't take a young one out to run errands at meal or nap time. You're asking for a melt down.

4. A favorite to use for 3 to 7 is logical consequences. Example you dump your food on the floor you get to sweep it up.

5. Use something the kid likes. I don't mean take away a privledge. I once had an older chage that was extremely creative and loved to draw, paint, and write. She went through a phase where she antagonized her younger sister. One dy when at my wits end I had her create something explaining why she should treat her younger sister better. She did. She enjoyed it and learned something in the process and started treating her little sister with a bit more empathy. I've tried similar things with older charges with good results.
6. When you can explain why something is or is not acceptable. Even better if you can have the child explain which choices are bette.

7. Praise and encourage. Catch them doing something right more often than you don't. This can be tough with some kids but worth it.

8. Be a caregive that is always learning. Willing to learn and research new techniques for different kids and different families. Be willing to admit when you were wrong and apologize. Give the child a chance to start every day fresh.

workingmom said...

All VERY GOOD input thus far.

My son never responded to time-outs either.

Katie said...

It's not a technique, but don't be afraid to say no.

In my earl nanny days I had it in my mind that to tell a child no was a bad thing, and to be avoided.

Don't get me wrong explanations are great, but sometimes no without discussion is ok and needed. Saying no isn't always negative.

In the same vein, follow through with what you say. Let your yes mean yes and no builds no. You build trust this way.

Don't fear a crying child. You'll drive yourself mad if you make it your goal to have them smiling all the time and never be upset.
It's ok for even little people to have a range of emotions.

Be able to admit when you are in over your head.

Katie said...

Also get out of your mind that discipline is equal to misery. Think of it more as teaching or molding.

Model the behavior you would like to see in your charges.

Melanie Raye Castor said...

I agree with basically everything I have read here. I am all about the logical consequences, and I also remind children of the expectations before we go out somewhere.

I also try to model and encourage "the golden rule"- treat others how you want to be treated. And that goes for me, as well as the children.

Nanny in CA said...

Children need to learn consequences, period. Your actions, decisions, and behavior have consequences!! Sometimes it's a positive consequence, sometimes it's a negative consequence.
Adults- if you make a decision to steal a car.. You would be facing a bad consequence!
Children need to learn this logical pattern of events.
I use all kinds of consequences, both positive and negative. You cleaned your trash excellent here's a sticker!! You poured your milk in the floor you clean it. The consequence needs to match the behavior, ie a severe consequence for a severe offense. I use all kinds of variations for different children. Time out, lose a toy for a day, miss out on an activity for bad behavior, or positives: give a small treat, sticker, special putting, etc. I've worked with many children in various settings, each child reacts and responds differently to different techniques.