I started writing this article few days before we went to the Lady Diana Memorial playground. I was totally unaware of what was going to happen on that day. My kids and their home edu friends were playing in the sand pit when some bigger children decided to throw sand on them! One of them, a 10 year old girl, a very bad tempered girl, was throwing a big tantrums and started to swear as I approached the mother to let her know what was going on. The mother was out of words and while the daughter had lots to say and swear, the mother could not say or do anything! Subhan'Allah! the daughter, a 10 years old child, could controlled the mother fully...
So here's the article I wanted to post just few days before...
Parents are often confused about how to discipline children once they reach their teens. It's about finding a balance - too little discipline and teenagers might get into risky behaviour, too much and they might rebel.
As your child grows and begins to understand the connection between actions and consequences, make sure you start communicating the rules of your family's home. Explain to kids what you expect of them before you punish them for a certain behavior. For instance, the first time your 3-year-old uses crayons to decorate the living room wall, discuss why that's not allowed and what will happen if your child does it again (for instance, your child will have to help clean the wall and will not be able to use the crayons for the rest of the day). If the wall gets decorated again a few days later, issue a reminder that crayons are for paper only and then enforce the consequences.
The earlier that parents establish this kind of "I set the rules and you're expected to listen or accept the consequences" standard, the better for everyone. Although it's sometimes easier for parents to ignore occasional bad behavior or not follow through on some threatened punishment, this sets a bad precedent. Consistency is the key to effective discipline, and it's important for parents to decide together what the rules are and then uphold them.
Kids have to believe that you mean what you say. This is not to say you can't give second chances or allow a certain margin of error, but for the most part, you should act on what you say.
Be careful not to make unrealistic threats of punishment ("Slam that door and you'll never watch TV again!") in anger, since not following through could weaken all your threats and consequences are also effective discipline strategies.
Just few thoughts to remember...
Dealing with the problem is the best move!
Don't ignore the behaviour- it will keep on getting worse and worse!
Talk to your teenager - try to get to the root of the problem.
Find someone your child trusts - he may be more willing to talk to a family friend, an older sibling or an aunt or uncle.
And finally, never give up on your children!!!
Saturday, 10 May 2008