Raising a child it’s giving him keys to become a member of our society, enabling him to become a responsible adult who can think and adapt. The basis of this education is to make him understand what is an acceptable behaviour and to set limits. Discipline does that. Positive, effective discipline is team work. From parents to nanny, together with everyone involved in the child’s education, should have a consistent approach to the child so he receives the same answers for a given behaviour.
Several studies show that emotive responses, like shouting and giving corporal punishment are not the best approach and that children who were raised this way are more likely to become aggressive adults with negative behaviours. It is therefore important to use positive discipline rather than to react with emotion. The secrets of successful positive discipline are attitude and communication. This post will outline what is a positive attitude while the subject of communication will be covered in another post on this blog.
First and foremost, attitude is being consistent: always choose a positive approach and never fall into the emotional reaction. You need to be constantly listening and show a lot of patience, adaptability and flexibility. The basic idea is to provide guidelines and limits and teach the child to make the right choices so you need to encourage her to make the right choices and congratulate her when she does. A discussion with the nanny or babysitter is necessary to ensure she will provide the same guidelines as you do. Confusion creates frustrations and misunderstandings, which in turn can easily lead to emotional reactions.
Quite often, it is enough to anticipate potential problems and present the child with a proper option before they have the opportunity to make a bad decision: for example, if they are about to play with crayons, ask them if they want to draw on the kitchen table or spread newspapers on the floor in their room. Do not let them decide where to use their crayons. Over time they will know the different options and choose between good alternatives.
A positive attitude it’s also creating a respectful and loving environment where the child can flourish without fear or frustration. It is therefore very important that the nanny takes her cues from you and is careful to always talk to the child with calmly and with respect. This does not detract from being firm but creates a dialogue rather than giving orders to be followed blindly.
If your nanny and yourself adopt this positive approach to discipline, you’ll see that with a little patience your child will learn to make the right choices.