Prize or punish ? This is probably the question you will ask yourself most over at least the next month, if you have children that is ? It’s holiday time, and usually we are tested to the limit…….. in every way possible, at times we are over the top and at other times we don’t quite cut it… can we learn to in force good conduct and teach good habits instead of bad ?
Do you feel guilty ? in the time that we are living, many of us work outside of our homes, both Mother and Father so we spend less time with our children than we ever have, and its also very possible that by the time we arrive home, the last thing we want to do is, is give orders or instructions regarding the cleaning and tidy up of the playroom/bedroom or lounge ! Have you finished your homework, eat all your meal etc etc., however being behind our children in this way, is part of our job to educate them in the correct manner. This takes time away from us, our sofa time,relax and can create many a confrontation with our children, but if we wish our children to grow in a healthy educated manner it is necessary for us to have these moments.
All at the right time, meaning prizes and punishment, all should be in proportion to the behaviour of the child. If a child is afraid of the dark and one evening goes to his room without a problem, this could be a good opportunity for a prize, not an expensive toy just a simple prize for his accomplishment. We have to have the quality of knowing the difference between an achievement and an obligation ? If we reward a child for having good notes at school and keeping good order in their room, this in fact is an obligation, but we should reward them with positive words to reinforce their attitude in these cases. A punishment when necessary should be something negative for a child, for example if the child is a poor eater, making them go to bed without their desert, will not really be negative ? and will not change a situation or their attitude towards the problem.
You have to take great care with the words that you use, never remove their motivation , the way we approach the child can make everything possible or the absolute opposite. Learn how to connect with positivity and empathy to the child, for example when a child learns to dress themselves it is important that you let them know how proud and pleased you are with them, it is important to use words like “I would like ” ” I feel like ” instead of “You have to ” which is said in an authoritative way and does not motivate the child. On a social level it is important that a child realises that the home belongs to you all and therefore should be cared for by everyone, which is why we all have little jobs to do and form a great family team.
As parents, the biggest job we have is not letting the child know, that what ever they do they are cute and amusing to us, we must all have had those times when they have performed in some spectacular way, but you have to keep your face straight with a look of “not amused”.These tiny little creatures that grow beyond belief are very clever and learn to read their parents very quickly, you have been warned, keep that guard up, they have to know when you say NO, you mean No and that enough is enough !! (been there, done that ) Being a parent is the most important job we will ever take on, it is the most difficult, but also the most rewarding, wishing you a great holiday time !!
Brooke Universal Coach
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