Introduction Children are like the sunshine that lights up every family’s home. However, we cannot also ignore the fact that raising young children like preschoolers, is no easy thing. Preschoolers pertain to those children from age 4 to 6 years old who already attend school, such as in nurseries or kindergartens. Unlike toddlers, preschoolers tend to further expand their mental abilities as well as develop comprehension, independence and other rudimentary life skills as they go along their time in school. How to discipline a preschooler? This ebook wants to convey the true essence of child discipline and the appropriate manners in which a parent can raise his or her child in and outside their homes without compromising the overall safety of the child as a human being deserving of love and nurturing.
8 Ways to Handling Your Preschooler(s) 1. Show Your Love Developmental psychologist Aletha Solter said that “discipline works best when it’s firm but fair and when you have a warm and loving relationship with your child.” Firstly, you can try acknowledging your child’s feeling. Acknowledging your child’s feelings does not make you a permissive parent. As parents, we don’t really need to ‘agree’ with his feelings, but at least we must ‘acknowledge’ them. This way, you are letting your child feel that he is being listened to.
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For example, your child is scribbling on the wall of your house. As a parent, you will probably be furious to see that. But, even though you do not ‘agree’ with your child’s feelings and actions at the moment, you may say to him, “I see you really have fun scribbling on the wall, but walls are not the best places for scribbling. Why not do it on a paper, too?” Afterwards, you can offer him some papers. Remember, young children have shorter attention spans on something and when you offer him another option, he will likely accept it very quickly. A warm hug or kiss can do wonders. Every time after reprimanding your child, you don’t forget to give him or her a warm hug, as well as an assurance of how much you love him/her.
2. Lead By Example ‘Leading by example’ can be a way to train our children to do things in certain ways that we want them to follow. Preschoolers are at the stage where they are always full of energy. They also like to mimic and ‘help’.
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Donna, 30, would tidy up by putting the toys in the box in front of her 4-year-old daughter and soon her daughter would follow. You may also face a situation in which you’re already keeping the toys while your child is doing the opposite by taking the toys out of the box again. If this happens, try the other way around and hold the toy box, then hold your child’s hand to lead him to put the toys back into the box. Gradually, he will automatically pick the rest of the toys up and place them where they should be.
3. Explain in Patience Your child wants to know how the way you ask him to do something affects him. For instance, if your child is throwing his toy on the floor, instead of telling him “you will scratch the floor, or you will spoil the toys,” try to say something like “you can’t play with it anymore as the toy will be spoiled if you throw it this way.” Besides, you can try describe the problem to your child. Instead of saying, “please tidy up your toys,” you may address the problem by telling your child, “your toys are scattering on the floors; mummy has no space to walk through.”
Sometimes, it may be challenging to get our children to obey our instructions. Yet, if you allow him some freedom to choose or decide for himself, the problem might be resolved. Giving options is part of the training in your child’s development. For example, there was once a preschooler about 5 years old playing hide-and-seek in the grocery store with his parents. The father offered an option to the child: “Would you like to sit in the shopping cart and move along with us or we go home now? Which one would you prefer?” The child actually ended up behaving and walking by his parents’ side without playing hide-and-seek anymore.
4. Let Your Child Experience the Consequences If your child misbehaves in certain situations, perhaps you can let them feel the outcomes of their actions. For example: Your child didn’t behave well in the shopping mall last time. Next time, you may choose not to bring him along with you and purposely address to him that the reason you do not bring him along to the shopping mall is due to his previous misbehavior.
5. The Distraction Trick Preschoolers have the propensities to easily get swayed or distracted. Use this tendency to your advantage, especially if your child is on the verge of throwing tantrums or defying what you ask for. Do this trick in a fun and funny way. You need to make your child laugh and feel happy and remember that laughter is the best medicine, even for “fits of rage.” As a parent, you know your child’s soft side like the back of your hand. So, do something silly in front of your kid, perhaps play a little game, and share a hearty giggle together. Humor is definitely an effective diversion and before you know it, those tantrums are just gone with the wind.
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For instance, if your child is scowling because she is not in his best mood, you may try something funny like taking a candid photo of her sullen expression and showing it to her afterwards. This is a trick that Jody played on her 6-year-old daughter, Crystal. Jody took a picture of her daughter’s angry face. She then set that picture beside a smiling picture of her daughter. The two pictures were the exact opposite of each other and Jody showed both repeatedly to her daughter until finally, Crystal could no longer resist the hilarity, and she forgot about her anger and laughed.
6. Shrug It Off This particular strategy works when the tantrums are not done in public or the child is just being stubborn about getting what he wants. This is actually related to parents’ firmness about their decision. Sometimes, you just need to let your child know that they cannot always get what they want. As long as he is not harming himself or anyone, ignore the tantrums until he gets the message. If he keeps crying and whining, let him be till he is finished.
If the tantrum is done in a public place, it would be helpful if you take him to a safe and quiet place away from the public so he can have enough time to cool down, as well as avoid disrupting others, perhaps in your car or somewhere that is not so crowded. Peaceful spots in the park, for instance, can be a good place so you can talk to your child and attend to his needs properly. But do remember NOT to leave him alone, as abduction cases nowadays happen anywhere. While we have heard of some parents leaving their child in tantrums alone in a public place and just observing the child from a distance, it is still pretty dangerous and something that parenting experts discourage parents from doing. Aside from that, you can hurt your child’s feelings, as he might feel that he is being abandoned.
7. Make Sure Their Basic Needs Are Fulfilled
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As parents, we are responsible for ensuring that our children’s basic needs are always fulfilled. Stressful scenarios, such as when the child feels tired, sleepy or hungry, are common causes of tantrums and the reasons they behave in ways that parents will be mad at. Therefore, if you plan on going out with your child, you must prepare your gears to address these potential occurrences. Make sure you bring along with you your child’s favorite snack in case he gets hungry, a toy, or anything that offers him comfort. Furthermore, it is not advised to take your child out when he is tired or sleepy.
8. The Power of Compliment Compliments allow a kid to feel appreciated and valued. When it comes to complimenting your preschoolers, praising them in a descriptive way is best since their comprehension level is higher than that of toddlers. Rather than saying “Sweetheart, your hand-writing looks great!”, try something like “Sweetheart, your hand writing looks very neat. Look at these few words that were written aligning the top line!” Descriptive praises make your child feel that you really pay attention to the smallest details and care about him or her. However, aside from compliments, parents must also be honest in pointing out their child’s blunders, but in a constructive and encouraging way.
Conclusion No more yelling, no more nagging, or losing control. Join Positive Parenting Solutions to become the parent you’ve always wanted to be HERE.
As parents, we need to be well-informed about the positive strategies to discipline our children. It always pays off if parents possess the knowledge of how to address the moral and psychological needs of every child. If you are serious about adopting parenting skills where you can get your kids to listen without yelling, nagging, or losing control, this following solution may be helpful for you. Positive Parenting Solutions is the worldwide leader in online parenting education for parents of toddlers to teens. It has helped over 75,000 families on 6 continents finally put an end to exhausting power struggles with their children. No more tantrums. No more meltdowns. No more guilt. Positive Parenting Solutions will help YOU become the parent you’ve always wanted to be.