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Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Discipline, Part 2

As I stated before, I will be writing a full series of discipline posts. I want to continue that topic with one of the best forms of discipline that a parent can use: Redirection

Parents have a very powerful tool at their disposal when it comes to discipline. Learning how to redirect a child's behavior before it becomes inappropriate or unruly is absolutely the best thing that a parent can do, especially with very young children. Part of this method, of course, is to anticipate those things that your child might be considering.

For example, I know that Marisa loves to draw. She will draw on anything at anytime with whatever tool she has in her hands. She's been caught drawing on the walls, the carpets, and even herself. (It was a very bad tattoo job with a Sharpie marker. NOT PRETTY!) I know if she has crayons or a pen that I really need to be aware of where she is at all times or my walls will be in danger. I keep the crayons and pens and pencils and markers and anything else that might conceivably be used for the purpose of drawing well out of reach of Risa hands unless there is paper to be used and my full attention to provide the appropriate level of protection for the walls and other household areas. When she gets up to wander away with a crayon in her hand, I redirect her to the paper or insist that she give me her weapon before she goes to play.

This same technique can be used for most any issue that a parent may encounter with their child. When you see that your child is about to do something that you don't want them to do, gently guide them to a different, more acceptable activity.

Redirecting the child's attention is often much more affective and much more appealing than punishing a child for misbehaving. If you can prevent the inappropriate behavior by directing your child towards something different, then that is certainly the best option for everybody. It also teaches your child to recognize those activities that you find acceptable. It allows you to say "yes" instead of "no," which is always preferable to both you and your child.

In essence, redirecting is more of a preventive measurement, but is still very useful and very important when dealing with children.


Gopal G said...

Most of what is said is true,but I do feel that excessive control of a child's actions may be detrimental to the potential talents that may develop later in life. With infants and kids around, the house will be littered with their toys and playthings and may not be nice to look, but by keeping everything in place all the time, the house will look more like a museum. Sorry for disagreeing. After all, opinions differ.

Gopal G.

Mom said...


Actually, I agree with you regarding excessive control and requiring a house to be completely spotless.

Disagreeing with me, of course, is always allowed. I'm always open for discussion and differing points of view. You need not apologize for that.


Liss said...

Hey mom, my son drew all over is Nanna's garden shed today.

Not that we want to encourage that but it was wonderful work from him. He had written numbers all over every wall, and they were all correct.

Redirecting children elsewhere is a great idea as I don't want to tell him of as his work was beautiful.

Mom said...

Oh My Gosh - Liss, That is absolutely WONDERFUL!!!

I am so incredibly excited for you both.

I know you don't want to encourage his drawing on the wall, but this might be one of those times when it might be well worth the risk to praise.

ModernMommy said...

This is my FAVORITE form of discipline. Everyone wins!