Choices are the best tool for preventing and stopping power struggles and rebellion. There are a few ways that parents can run into problems, however, so here are a few guidelines for using choices effectively.
So, is there any hope? How can we learn to be kind and firm at the same time? The first thing that will help is to become more aware of our "hook level." When we recognize that we are becoming hooked we can take a deep breath and back off (emotionally, if not physically).
Around the age of one, children enter the "me do it" stage. This is when they develop a sense of autonomy vs. doubt and shame. Two through six heralds the development of a sense of initiative vs. guilt. This means it is their developmental job to explore and experiment.
When a child is disrespectful to teachers or classmates, the first source to consider is the behavior of the adults in this child's life. Children who aren't treated with respect have no model for respectful behavior.
He shared a lot of stories about how to be kind and firm at the same time. It was really hard for me to believe that it would work. In my family there had been plenty of firmness -- but very little kindness, and it was hard for me to believe that they could work together.
Parents everywhere understand the need for rules. So what, precisely, is it that makes discipline so frustrating? The way I see it, it isn't setting the rules and boundaries that's the problem for most parents: it's following through.
Children should act on inner directives and be gentle and gracious in the classroom based on these inner directives not on external punishments or rewards. We need to train children to be self-directed through consistent, fair, firm, and prompt redirection.
If your parents used spanking as a discipline method growing up, you may have reconciled yourself to their behavior by justifying it: You came out ok. You may even think there is no other choice for managing kids who are "a handful." How else do kids learn?