Parents dread disciplining their children almost as much as children dread discipline! However, preschoolers are not yet fully developed and may display defiant behavior as they become more independent. Here are a few tips and tricks for age-appropriate discipline:
Take away privileges
Effective discipline allows children to associate poor behavior with negative consequences. Therefore, a good method of discipline would be a loss of the child’s privileges. Restricting screen time or taking away your child’s toys when they are misbehaving will allow your child to make the connection that if they choose to behave in such a way, the outcome will not be in their favor. This realization will encourage behavior change.
Encourage effective communication
There are several ways to prevent future behavioral issues. First, establish healthy communication with your child. Children are humans and will regularly experience strong emotions. When something upsets your child, allow them the time and space to “cool off” before sitting down and discussing these emotions with them. Allow open dialogue and discuss healthy ways your child may express their emotions in future.
Discuss alternative behaviors
Preschoolers must be taught appropriate ways to cope with their emotions. Therefore, discipline should be a learning experience for your child. When your child misbehaves, address how and why their behavior was inappropriate and suggest other ways they can convey the same message. If your child is fighting for a toy and hits their sibling, you might say, “We don’t hit others when we are upset. How could you have handled the situation differently?” Posing a question encourages the use of critical thinking skills.
At The Kangaroo Forest, our childcare professionals are trained in how to address behavioral issues. Through effective communication, we encourage critical thinking and behavior change. Interested in learning more about our programs? Contact us today!