Preschool age is usually the age when children begin to push boundaries and test limits…and your patience as their parent or caregiver. They long for independence but also aren’t quite able to communicate their needs or feelings completely. This will lead to more meltdowns and tantrums or simply acting out. Discipline is a hot topic in the parenting world, and there will be so many opinions on how you should discipline children. While this is not a comprehensive “how-to,” we have some great options to consider.
Before discipline is even needed, implement ways to set your child up for success and feelings of independence. Praise good behavior by setting up a reward system. Make a chart for putting cleaning up every day, for example. Once they’ve done it 5 times in a row without being asked, let them choose a small reward of a sticker book or even a favorite treat!
Inversely, teach your child about consequences. Use that word; refrain from saying “punishment.” Children will learn that certain behaviors lead to certain consequences, such as removal of privileges, loss of screen time, or even a time-out. They will make the association quickly that less than desirable behavior will result in something they may not like!
Head off tantrums and meltdowns before they happen (setting up for success!) by making sure your child gets plenty of sleep and exercise/outdoor time. Know their limits for overstimulation. Take snacks to avoid “hangry” meltdowns; maybe even offer a snack before any disciplinary action needs to be taken!
Know that every child is different, and that there will be a period of trial and error. Once you establish a healthy method that works in your home, be confident in your choices. Do not let any website or well-meaning family member or friend shake your confidence.
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Want to learn more about Kids ‘R’ Kids Learning Academy of Houston Metro located in Richmond, Texas? Our mission is to provide secure, nurturing, and educational environments for children ages 6 weeks – 12 years. We help children to bloom into responsible, considerate, and contributing members of society. For more information, give us a call or stop by for a tour! We’d love to get to know you and your family!