Here’s the thing about discipline. It is assumed the more you discipline, correct, reign in, and guide your children, the better people they’ll end up. However, sometimes it feels like the more you discipline, the more kids act out, causing you to discipline them more. I feel like I keep having to come up with new discipline tactics – like this sign and this chart – to “water down” my use of time-outs and yelling. It’s this frustrating, vicious cycle. The more you correct, the more that needs correcting. At least that’s how it is with my 3 year old.
The flip side is not disciplining as much. Immediately your mind likely goes to the uncontrollable children who always get their way. What if I told you there is a way how to discipline less without ending up with an unruly kid? It’s about coming to an understanding of your child’s true nature and their emotional needs. I found this advice from the child whisperer and this handy infographic from a blog referencing her site. This method was eye-opening to me, it has stayed with me for a long time. Check it out—>
Reading through this chart, what stuck out to me first was how perfectly my HUSBAND fit the “more serious child” description. I guess the chart isn’t just for helping foster positive relationships with your kids, but pretty much anyone. My 3 year old, Lillian, is a mix of the fun-loving child and the determined child. My son Nick, as far as I can tell for now, is the determined child.
When I think about ways to keep my kids happy, I usually think of activities and outings that would be fun for them. This drives my husband crazy (because he’s the more serious child and likes to be home alone, not out and about). However, it does wonders for my kids who have that determined child in them that needs physical activity and new experiences. On days where we play outside most of the time instead of inside most of the time, they are much better behaved and I have to discipline less. Before reading this infographic, this was my main tactic for preventing the need to discipline. I only discovered it because it was evident it worked. When my kids experienced new, physically challenging things, they were happier.
Now that I better understand Lily’s personality (thanks to this method) I know I can keep Lillian happier by limiting her alone time and giving her more control. I am a big proponent of independent play and used to encourage Lily to play by herself often. Now I encourage her to play with Nick, her neighbors, her friends, and her dolls (imaginary friends). I tell her it’s okay if she doesn’t like playing alone, I never did either. I also try to give Lily more control over her life. I am a bit of a control freak and I feel reluctant to relinquish control because it’s often I give an inch and she takes a mile. Letting Lily pick out her own clothes now results in seven to ten outfit changes each day and numerous tantrums. Regardless, I know that saying “yes” more often than “no” does wonders for my daughter’s cooperation and behavior. She just doesn’t want to feel stifled and controlled from everything she wants to do.
Needless to say, this infographic has helped me immensely in learning to keep my kids cooperative and discipline them less. It’s amazing when I show this method to other people how you can watch a light bulb go off in their head. Usually they can identify which of the four is their child’s true nature right off the bat. I hope that’s you! I’m curious to hear which true nature describes your children best? Do you already put into practice some of the prevention methods suggested here?
Click to read next
How to Discipline Less