Limits are different from one family to the next, however following through when you threaten to punish your child in a kind, clear and respectful way, can be helpful in so many different situations.
Why do experts say parents should always follow through?
Experts agree that the purpose of following through is to help your child know they can trust what you say. Your guidance is coming from a place of love, care and respect.
For some parents, following through is a lot easier said than done. You may choose to ignore some behaviours in the hopes that your child will just stop. Sometimes it works, usually, it just escalates until you have to deal with it.
It is possible for parents to be kind and firm at the same time.
If it brings a loud and lengthy outburst, it can be tempting just to give in, to avoid hearing the whining and complaining that ensues. It is important to keep in mind that every single thing that you do, teaches your child something. If you cave when your child throws a tantrum, they’ll throw more tantrums or if they are a little older, they may simply play emotional games because it’s worked so well for them last time.
When you child asks for something and you say NO, if they continue to complain do not get into a back and forth disagreement with them and most certainly do not go back on what you just said. Say the following " You asked, I answered, that's the end". Your child will soon learn that once you say that, there is no way they can change your mind and they will walk away.
Start discipline from an early age
Children learn to manipulate from as young as 15 months.
Starting too discipline from a young age is the cornerstone for avoiding tantrums in the future. We started our discipline by following the UK Super nanny, Jo Frosts recommendations. When our child acted up, we would ask him to sit on the naughty mat for the same time as his age. This means that if he was two, then it was for two minutes. When he got off the mat, I put him back on the mat and reset the loud timer. It did not take long for him to realise that when he got off, the timer was reset. What you do now, sets in place how your relationship with your child will be in future years. Staying strong now, will make it so much easier next time.
How to decide on three follow through punishments ?
Sit down with your other child's caregivers and come up with 2-3 go to punishments. The reason that you need go-to punishments is because, in your anger, you may threaten something that you are not prepared to follow through with. By having go-to punishments, you will never be placed in the position where you are not prepared to follow through.
Only you can decide on the commodity to use according to Dr Phil McGraw. If your threats are being ignored, it is possible that your child's commodity has changed. Take a moment to reconsider your go to punishment.
Consider what you need done before the kids get what they want. Create a relationship with boundaries, there are responsibilities that your child must learn. As a parent, our goal in life is to prepare our children to live a life outside of the family home and to be a considerate person to future flatmates or partners. Before saying yes to your child's request, consider if they have to clean their teeth or have a bedroom that they need to tidy, a dishwasher to unpack, or Math homework to be completed? Ask your child to do one of these things in exchange for what they are requesting.
Following through with your threats, especially from a young age will create a closer, calmer relationship with your children.