How To Discipline A 2 Year Old When He Hits Disciplining a Kid the Parental-Love Way

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Disciplining a Kid the Parental-Love Way

Is it good to pat children occasionally?

Should I be a free range parent?

If I use consequences, does that mean I’m withholding love from my child?

november Time the cover story says parents are over-parenting. I think so, but what should I do instead?

This is just a sampling of what you’ve read in the media and blogs over the past six months. Never in the history of parenting have parents been so confused and blamed. But good news! There is a refreshing response to this confusion and accusation.

This answer has been under our collective noses since the beginning of parenthood: it’s parental love. Rarely is parental love fully developed. It sounds so old fashioned that we just ignore it. But when parents fully realize their love, children are always happy and respectful. Do not press the delete button now. This isn’t just another crazy therapist. See for yourself. Please take a moment to read the following short summary.

Here’s what I discovered after dusting off this “old hat” but potentially powerful parenting resource I call parental love. And it took forty years and 2,500 clients to come to these proven conclusions that really work.

A child’s basic life need (same as feeling the need for food) is to feel and believe that “I am good because of who I am inside, not because of my performance” and to avoid “I am bad”. When this belief is established, you will have a happy and respectful child. And you will feel good. Parents have the ability to reinforce a child’s need to believe “I am good” by consistently focusing on the good at the center of their child, even during discipline. (Okay, it takes practice, but it can be done in three weeks.) Discipline (teaching and training) is less effective when parents focus only on behavior. (This is normal parental focus). But that puts the parenting cart before the horse. The first task of discipline is to focus on feelings and validate them. Here’s the key: validation of feelings makes the child feel that he is “good” in the eyes of the parents (remember that “I am good” is a vital need of the child). Now that “I’m good” is in place, behavior change will work better.

This is an overview of what it means to release your love. Now let’s delve into the summary of discipline, or, to put it another way, teaching and training. And let’s always remember the paramount principle of discipline: firm, consistent, respectful, setting limits.

Teaching. Part of teaching discipline is helping your child acquire two critical pieces of information about life: healthy beliefs and acceptable behavior. Faith is central. It serves as a blueprint and source of energy for determining the child’s behavior. The two basic beliefs that need to be taught are “I am good” and what is right and wrong (the child’s guilt system). As these beliefs are formed, parents train the child to adopt appropriate behaviors. And here are the principles of parental love for teaching: use discussion (see next paragraph), avoid judgment, avoid negative comments, be calm, talk no more than 25 percent of the time and during that time ask as many questions as possible, make only one or two points at a time , keep your points short and admit your mistakes. (I bet you already practice at least two or three of these.)

All parenting must begin with the child feeling understood and accepted from their point of view. This is the only way to effectively solve problems. This part of understanding and acceptance is achieved through the four-step discussion process below: Listen, Repeat, Agree and Verify.

“Adam, tell me what happened that made you take out your upset by hitting your sister.

“She came into my room and started playing with my Legos. I told her to stop but she didn’t.” (Listening)

Father echoes Adam’s comment without He gives his points and then asks, “Did I understand correctly?” (repetition)

Dad agrees to one thing, even though he knows a lot about Adam in Sara’s room, but he bites his tongue, “I agree. You should be upset that your sister barged into your room.” (I agree)

Then Dad confirms, “I can see how sick you are of your sister dropping by unannounced. I would too.” (Authentication)

Now Dad turns it around and asks Adam to listen and repeat what Dad said. (It doesn’t ask Adam to do the last two steps, agree and confirm. Those steps are too complicated for toddlers.) Listening and repeating takes some practice, but eventually even a three-year-old can learn these two steps. Now Adam and Dad understand each other and are ready to adopt new behaviors. That’s the training part.

Training. The goal of training is twofold: to create in the child (1) healthy behavior and (2) the ability to immediately use established ways of thinking and believing to choose between right and wrong behavior. The basic training task is to train your son or daughter to delay gratification. “I want it my way now” doesn’t work. Again, remember the basic principle of discipline: firm, consistent, respectful, setting limits.

Here is a summary of the necessary training skills:

Always acknowledge the goodness in your child’s center during All (or at least 90 percent or so) training exercises, especially during training camps like “Learn to Drive”.

Always shape training expectations according to (1) your child’s feelings and thoughts (put yours aside for the time being), (2) developmental stage, and (3) unique personality (temperament traits). Special note: don’t automatically practice the way you were raised if it doesn’t work for your child.

Use the VT&T training sequence guaranteed to work almost every time: “V” for verify feelings causing your child’s behavior, “T” for teach why a particular behavior or belief is important (75 percent listening, 25 percent speaking—mostly by asking questions), “T” for train/establish your child’s healthy behavior and beliefs. (It helps if your husband or boyfriend leads your efforts: “Give me V…” Okay, skip it. But encouragement helps.)

Set expectations for a 98 percent success rate when training a new behavior. Doesn’t it feel good to be successful right away?

Maintain a calm or near-calm voice and facial expression during all training exercises – no meanness. (Ninety percent will do if sorry for the 10 percent “I’m only human” error.) Too much anger, too often, is harmful.

Motivation is the training engine that changes behavior: logical consequences, rewards, deprivation. Special note: Pain is a destructive motivator; skip the penalty. Post 3 x 5 cards with this message in several places: The biggest training motivator translated into baby talk – “I want my mom and dad to accept me no matter what.”

Now you have the basics of what the parent-love version of discipline looks like. Apply these principles in your family and you too will raise a happy, respectful child.

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