'Wait till daddy gets home!' This familiar parenting cliché is not only another kind of threat, it's alsodiluted discipline.To be effective,you need to take care of a situation immediately yourself.
Discipline that's postponeddoesn't connect the consequences with your child's actions. By the time the other parent gets home, it's likely that your child will actually have forgotten what she did wrong. Alternately, the agony of anticipating a punishment may be worse than what the original crime deserved.
Passing the buck to someone else alsoundermines your authority. "Why should I listen to Mom if she's not going to do anything anyway?" your child may reason. Not least, you're putting your partner in an undeserved bad-cop role.
Who in this world of back-to-back appointments, overbooked schedules, sleep deficits, and traffic snarls hasn't uttered these immortal words?
Certainly every parent whose toddler can't find his shoes or blankie or who's blissfully oblivious of anything but putting on his socks "all by self!" has. Consider, though,your tone of voicewhen you implore a child to hurry, andhow often you say it.
If you're starting to whine, screech, or sigh every day, with your hands on your hips and your toes tapping, beware. There's a tendency when we're rushed to make our kids feel guilty for making us rush. The guilt may make them feel bad,but it doesn't motivate them to move faster.
"It got so hectic at my house in the mornings, I hated that the last image my kids had of me was being angry," says family therapist Paul Coleman, author of "How to Say It to Your Kids." "So I made a pact with myself.No matter what, I wouldn't yell or roll my eyes even if someone spilled their Cheerios or asked me to find something just as we were heading out."
Rather than hectoring ("I told you to turn off that TV five minutes ago!"), he looks for calm ways to speed things along (he turns off the set himself).
'Great job!" or "Good girl!'
What could possibly be wrong with praise? Positive reinforcement, after all, is one of the most effective tools a parent has.The trouble comes in when the praise is vague and indiscriminate.
Tossing out "Great job!"for every little thingyour child does -- from finishing his milk to drawing a picture --becomes meaningless. Kids tune it out.They can also tell the difference between praise for doing something rote or simple and praise for a real effort.