Even when I threaten my child with punishments he falls back into his old habits

Parenting is a roller coaster ride on most days. The kids seem to be angels on one day and little naughty people on others leaving you guessing on what you are doing wrong or right depending!

Parents tend to struggle with creating some sort of discipline with kids and handing out punishments can seem to be one of the ways. But unfortunately too many punishments can cause your child to actually become immune and it seems like water of a ducks back.

An exasperated mother has written in asking:

What can I do because my child has stopped behaving even after I threaten him with various punishments? 

Monday Mornings with Sunaina Episode 50, answers the question asked by a mother to help her be more empowered as a parent and create a system in her way of communication with her child to create peace and harmony in the family.

1)   If you are trying to teach your child that certain elements of his behaviour are unacceptable then firstly replace the word ‘punishments’ with ‘consequences.’ Consequence means the result of, so the result for a behaviour can be either good or bad. So you can teach your child that he has a choice of creating a good consequence or a bad consequence depending on how he will behave or act. So you make him the ‘decision maker’ of his consequence therefore his behaviour.

2)   So how will you introduce consequences to your child. Know what your child truly wants or waits for. Is it watching TV or talking to his friends on his cell phone or going for a sleepover. So take away the thing he enjoys till he does not follow through with the required behaviour that you want him to practice.

3)   There are two characteristics of consequences. One is to get your child to focus on the given task – the given good behaviour you want him to follow. Example you want him to talk politely to his elder sister.  And the other is to keep it time-bound. So that he knows that he has to follow through within the time frame, as his phone/laptop will otherwise not be returned.

4)   Be prepared for setbacks. Children are also prone to forgetting and falling back on their old behaviour so be prepared.

5)   Stay firm. Do not discount the boundaries you have set for your child to bring him back on track. Otherwise he will feel you are open to negotiation and fall back onto his old patterns and you will have to start all over again.

6)   Encourage your child. Focus and articulate to your child what he is doing well. The positive changes you have noticed in him and how proud you are.

Action: Sit with your child and explain to him that you will let him decide what consequences he wants for his behaviour. Empower him so that he chooses good behaviour!

If your child is off track with his behaviour and you need a neutral party to help him get back on track contact me, BOOK a Youth Coaching Session with me NOW! Email sunainaathena@gmail.com or call (+971)-56-1399033.

Sessions are conducted via: phone, skype, face-to-face to suit your child’s needs.