Greystone House Montessori Schools Houston, Texas. Child care Montessori provider in Champions, The Woodlands, Spring Texas Greystone House Montessori Schools Houston
Current Newsletter
We live in such a punitive society that when one or two non-punitive alternatives, like saying ďStop thatĒ or ďDo thatĒ donít work, we right away jump to punishment. Yelling isnít the only form of verbal punishment. Swearing, belittling, insults, sarcasm, sulking, spiteful comments, threats, mocking, or throwing or smashing something can be even more harmful.

Itís not harmful for a child to see once in a while that a parent is genuinely upset if it isnít too intense or too frequent. But you can tell youíve gone too far when a little child cries in fear, when you know youíre out of control, or when youíre showing no respect for the child. The child may withdraw and become defensive or may become devious to protect himself. He may be afraid to try anything new because of the threat of being put down or having his self-esteem attacked. So how do you kick the habit? These guidelines may be helpful.

ē Remember that your child needs to be able to trust you and rely on your support. Verbal violence betrays that trust, and it takes a lot to rebuild the emotional bank account.

ē Plan ahead. Make a very short list of the behaviors you want to work on with your child, and accept that you can only teach one at a time. Plan the way you want to act and react. Itís easier to punish than to teach because teaching takes planning and patience.

ē Use positive physical reinforcement. Lead the child to where you want her to be. If she canít have one thing, put something else in her hand. If itís time for her bath, take her to the bathroom; donít just tell her to go.

ē Focus on the behavior, not on the child. Learn to use ďIĒ messages that tell the child what you observe and describe the behavior you expect. Itís okay for a child to feel bad about doing a bad thing, but he should not end up feeling like an awful person.

When you blow it, how can you recover? Say that! If you need time out to regain control, tell your child that youíre out of control and that you need some time by yourself. Children are better able to control themselves when they have an example that trains them in rational thought. Punishment makes a child act only out of fear instead of learning to control herself. Itís also important to remember that every time you engage in an aggressive act against a child, you are chipping away at the bond between you, and a parentís influence depends ultimately on that bond. How long are you going to be able to coerce? Love and patience are a lot more effective in the long run.