Parenting approaches in setting behaviour expectations: How I discipline my four kids in four different ways
How do you deal with your kids? With kid gloves or with an iron fist? Or is that glowering look of yours good enough to get the job done? Read this to find out how a mother of four manages it so well.
When I only had Sharleez, I thought it was going to be easy bringing up a child. She has been a really well-behaved child ever since she was born. Even when she was a toddler, I do not remember going through the terrible twos phase with her.
Even so, I am the kind who believes strongly in the power of disciplining the child RIGHT since young. No matter how well behaved the child is, you still need to discipline them right from the start. So this means that Sharleez too had to go through it.
But now that I have four kids, I have realized that it is quite difficult to discipline all of them using the same method I used on Sharleez because – different kids have different temperaments.
So how to discipline effectively while maintaining a semblance of fairness at the same time? As far as I can remember, I kept comparing how differently my siblings were disciplined – they seemed to get away with everything while I could not even go back later than 10pm when I was a teenager. My parents were really strict with me. Before I had kids, I kept thinking it was unfair of my parents to do so. But now that I have kids of my own, I totally understand that I need to tailor my disciplining methods to my kids’ temperament, individually.
Just look at my four kids for example – they are all different in every single way. So how do I go about disciplining them?
Sharleez The Go By The Book One:
With Sharleez, since she is all about discipline and sticking to rules, all I need to do is to remind her what she has done wrong. Taking away privileges like the use of handphone works best on her too.
Mysha The Stubborn And Laid Back One:
With Mysha, the hard approach will never work because once I do that, she will just cry silently and refuse to move or do anything. So what works best on her will be the gentle reminders in a stern tone.
Myreen The Sensitive Yet Obedient One:
Myreen will get very scared whenever I scold her or raise my voice, and she will burst into tears immediately, and look for my mum. It will be worse if she is being scolded in front of everyone else because she will overreact and cry even more. With Myreen, the best approach is to watch my voice and even if I need to tell her off, I should do it without anyone around. But then again, nobody deserves a scolding in the presence of others. So that’s something that I should work on.
Shakeel The Stubborn and Playful One:
This boy is currently in his terrible twos, so as much as I try to discipline him, he will still retaliate in his cute little ways. But the key point to smart disciplining is consistency. So even when he refuses to listen to me when I tell him to stop throwing the toys for instance, I will still keep telling him the same thing each time he does that.
I also consider following a strict pattern in certain activities for him as a form of discipline. This, I believe, is an effective way to hone the kid’s behaviour at an early age. Great example would be having specific time on when he will have his nap time or milk time. Of course, in doing so, I make it a point to make it fun for him so that he will follow directions lightly yet obediently. Thankfully, for his milk time, I do not have any problem in encouraging him to drink his milk as he enjoys it a lot. MARIGOLD 100% Fresh Milk has been a good companion for me in putting a great discipline for Shakeel’s milk time as he simply loves it. On most days, he will just open the fridge and point to MARIGOLD 100% Fresh Milk – that just means he wants to drink it!
I am glad that Shakeel is loving his fresh cow’s milk because although he is now getting most of his nutrients from the food he eats, the Health Promotion Board’s guidelines recommend children between six months and two years of age to still consume about 500 ml to 750 ml of milk daily.
Also, kids above the age of 1 are also advised to switch to cow’s milk like MARIGOLD 100% Fresh Milk, together with a balanced diet of solids to fulfil their growing nutritional needs, of course.
MARIGOLD 100% Fresh Milk is made with 100% Australian milk and thus, contains all the natural goodness of fresh Australian cow’s milk. And best of all, it is halal certified!
So it’s no brainer why the kids and I are drinking MARIGOLD 100% Fresh Milk. ☺
For a toddler as active as Shakeel, he needs strong bones for support and to grow well.
Therefore, it is important for Shakeel to drink a cup or two of MARIGOLD 100% Fresh Milk daily. He really likes the idea of drinking straight from the cup these days – maybe it makes him feel as grown up as the rest of us!
When Shakeel is slightly older, I am going to introduce TIME OUT to him so that I can send him to a corner for him to take a moment and realize the consequence for misbehaving. I used TIME OUT with my girls when they were younger and it worked like magic!
But if you want to ask me what works best on all my four kids, it will be positive reinforcement! Positive reinforcement tends to work for most children. Point to note though that the reward does not have to be the same for all of them. For instance, the reward for one sibling might be extra handphone time, while another earns one full hour of slime play.
Teaching self-discipline to a young child isn’t as daunting as it sounds, believe me. If we focus on the essentials starting at around age 2, our child will catch on quicker, resist less, and ultimately behave better as they grow older. Research has also shown that kids as young as 18 months old are empathetic and responsive to their parents’ expectations. So even if they are still not talking properly yet, they can definitely understand us. As for all those times that they misbehave, it’s just them trying to test their luck to see how we would respond to it – they will try doing the same thing again for several times. So if you let them off all the time for misbehaving, good luck to disciplining them in future.
If I’ve done anything right, it’s that I have made it clear from the get-go what I expect from my kids. Now, all I have to do is shoot them a look, and they will know to discipline themselves. And yes, of course I am talking about my girls here. Shakeel is still work in progress lol.