A Fresh Look at Discipline

“It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.”

– Frederick Douglass

I’m cleaning up my “office” area and keep coming across small scraps of things I’ve saved to read later. One was a notecard sized piece headed, “A Fresh Look at Discipline.” I’m not even sure what book it came from. I’m making it into a blog post rather than continue to hang onto the scrap, because then it is stored/saved this way, rather than my needing to keep track of many little papers (this makes sense and seems efficient, right?! I will do this with more scraps as I discover them!)

A Fresh Look at Discipline

(from Playful Parenting…maybe?)

  • Cool off
  • Make a connection
  • Choose a “Meeting on the Couch” over a “Time-out”
  • Play!
  • Instill good judgement
  • Look underneath the surface, at the child’s feelings and needs
  • Prevent instead of punish
  • Know your child
  • Set clear limits

I’m also trying to remember to use Naomi Aldort’s SALVE formula, which connects with the looking under the surface at the child’s feelings and needs. And, today, I started trying something I read about in the book Momfulness which involves a three breath hug—take three deep breaths together while hugging. My second son, Z, gets so upset and mad about things that I tried this with him this morning when he was really mad and having trouble calming down and it helped. I also try to remember (and I did get this from Playful Parenting) that children are seeking connection—sometimes not always in “positive” ways, but the ultimate goal is connection—and you can either promote and encourage that in your interactions, or shut it down. And that, reminds me of a quote Lu Hanessian uses in her talks about parenting: “Ernest Hemingway said it was the world that does break everyone, not life itself, but that most of us get stronger at the broken places.” She reminds us that when you do have a “breakdown” with your children, that what matters most is how you repair the cracks.

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