Day 6: Discipline/Effects of Care Giving

"Too often we forget that discipline really means to teach, not to punish. A disciple is a student, not a recipient of behavioral consequences."
Dr. Dan Siegel, The Whole-Brain Child

And it came to pass, the class in which taught us how to become parents. As much as you can learn without actual hands on experience.

Several points taken from the class:

The ability to delay the gratification of a child is critical to their success. Remember the whole study with the kids and the marshmallow? They put a child in a room and place a marshmallow in front of them. They say that they can eat it then. But they can also wait. And if they do wait, then they will be rewarded with a second marshmallow. If we can delay the gratification of a child, we motivate them to do their very best, because they know that the second reward will be greater than the first.

For instance, when we were primary teachers, our primary presidency used marbles in a jar. When the kids were on their best behavior, they got a marble in the jar. When the jar was full, they received a reward. The instant gratification is the marble in the jar. And the delayed gratification is the reward once the jar is full.

As the parent, we should never take away something already earned. If we put a marble in the jar, and then they misbehave, we cannot take a marble away. The marble was placed for a good behavior. And bad behavior cannot cancel out the good behavior. If we make a mistake at work does our boss ask us for a portion of our paycheck to make up for our mistake? Makes sense now, right?

Discipline = Teaching
Discipline > Behavior Management

We are to discipline for good and bad behavior. Which means that good behavior and bad behavior provides us with good teaching opportunities as parents. And we need to be sure that we are taking opportunities to teach in all situations. Not just the good. Not just the bad.

The best consequences are the ones that get the child back on track. When we place children in time out, are they really learning from their mistake? Are they really sitting in the corner, pondering what they did wrong and what it is they can do better in the future so as to not end up in that situation again? We should be talking to our kids. Letting them take a break from the situation. An example was used as we talked about what we do as adults when we are in a stressful situation. Do we go sit in the corner, completely silent, for as many minutes as we are in age thinking about what we did wrong? {If you do.....therapy, my friend.} Of course we don't! We go for a walk. We go shopping. We eat some chocolate. We exercise. Give a child the opportunity to refresh themselves in a similar way.

I really enjoyed this class. It gave me a good opportunity to take what I was raised with, and mix it with the things that I learned to begin thinking about some ways I plan to teach the children that come into our home. As much as you can prepare without hands on experience, right?

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