In broad strokes, Part I discussed my thinking on disciplining with loving kindness. It starts with my perspective of being well-balanced and focusing on self-care. From that position of strength flows the patience and ability to teach, guide and help children maximize their potential.
Part II discusses a few of the nuts and bolts that work for me. How did I raise my children, and teach preschoolers without raising my voice, depend on corporeal punishment, or use belittling tactics?
Top Four Tips
Set clear expectations. Whenever possible, I’ve set guidelines ahead of time for what to expect. When we’d go somewhere new as a family, I’d tell the kids how long we’d probably be there and who would be present. Sometimes I’d say, you’re not going to have a great time, but we need you to do this for _____________. My kids still talk about how helpful these prep sessions were for them.
- Keep a sane schedule. When the kids were growing up, they could choose one extra- curricular activity, plus Religious Education during the school year. This led to nearly-regular family dinners, time for homework, downtime and lots of opportunities for talking and playing.
- Peaceful time-outs. Sometimes we all need a few minutes to cool down, regroup and recenter. As a parent and as a teacher, I’d have a child go sit quietly and think about what transpired. This offers two benefits; the child is graciously offered a few minutes of quiet and so am I!
- Talk. Talk. Talk. When there was an issue involving a mistake made, we’d sit the kids down and talk to them, quietly and calmly with no one else around. With respect. The kids always apologized for their mistake (or I apologized for mine) and learned. They’ve always joked that they never made the same mistake twice.
We are all on this journey called life together. Hopefully we’ll always keep learning, growing and having examples of loving kindness to guide our hearts and positively impact others. This requires time, patience and love.
Train a child in the way he should go; even when he is old, he will not swerve from it. Proverbs 22:6
Diane Mann is an author, blogger, mother, and grandmother. Check out purpledotter.com for more.