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Positive Discipline Techniques for Preschoolers

When disciplining a preschooler at home or at a Gaithersburg child care center, you should ensure that they understand what you expect from them and that the results are always the same. Make sure you treat them with love and care when you tell them what will happen because they made a bad choice. Your child’s personality should be considered when making your discipline plan, and most preschoolers can learn from these tactics.

What are Positive Tools for Discipline?

You should try positive discipline if you’ve never felt good about punishing your child. If you use positive methods like redirection, praise, and selective ignoring, you can stop kids from misbehaving without threatening, bribing, or shouting.

Supporters say that this way of disciplining kids can help parents and kids get closer and trust each other more. When you use these five tried-and-true examples of positive punishment instead of getting angry, you teach your child that it is possible to handle frustrating situations without getting into a fight.

Ignoring Certain Things

Those who work in child care in Gaithersburg, MD, say that it can be helpful to ignore bad behavior when it’s not a big deal. When you selectively ignore, you don’t react to behaviors meant to get your attention, like when your child spills milk on the floor on purpose or keeps talking over you while talking to another adult. Kids are less likely to act out in that way again if they don’t get a response from you, whether it’s good or bad.

Of course, be smart about how you use selective silence. Stop them from doing harmful, risky, or destructive things immediately, and think about using other forms of positive discipline if the behavior keeps up.

father and preschooler spending time together and smiling

One Word Reminders

Instead of giving your child a lot of complicated instructions, say one strong word to get your point across right now. Forget telling them to go upstairs, brush their teeth, and then clean up the sink. Just say “teeth.” When your child asks for something, don’t tell them repeatedly to be polite and explain why it’s important; just say “please.” Kids learn best when they are given clear, simple instructions right away. You can always explain your reasons later.

It will be tempting to say it again if your child doesn’t follow through right away. Wait a beat before you do that. To teach kids to wait for the next instruction before moving, you should often remind them of what you just said.

Positive Reinforcement

Always find a chance to praise good behavior. Kids are more likely to behave how you want them to if you praise them for doing something right, like sharing a toy or following the rules.

If you want to use positive reinforcement, it works better to praise the act of good behavior rather than the child’s character or attitude. Remind your child of what a good thing they did when they cared about someone who seemed hurt or sad. Make sure they know how much the person they were kind to valued it.

Natural benefits for good behavior work even better than praise. For example, if a child politely asks to jump on the trampoline for five more minutes instead of having a fit because playtime is ending, you might want to give them the extra time to encourage them to ask nicely again in the future.

Praise the Good Behavior

Many times, you might tell your kid not to do things like reach into the bag of the person sitting next to you at the table or eat rice with their fingers. Also, it’s important to “catch them being good.” Preschoolers can be encouraged and given a picture of what they should be doing when you notice these things and talk about good actions. It works best to be clear about the behaviors you want to see.

Redirection

Little kids don’t pay attention for long, so it’s not hard to get them to do something else when they’re acting up. If you see your child playing with something that could be harmful, give them a different toy to play with.1 Moving them to a different room or outside might help if that doesn’t work.

Instead of telling a kid what they can’t do, tell them what they can. You shouldn’t tell your child they can’t watch YouTube anymore. Instead, tell them they can play outside or work on a new project they haven’t done yet. Focusing on the good things can help stop many fights and acts of defiance.

mother and preschooler coloring together

Time-In

You could try a time-in if you want to talk to your child instead of sending them away when they do something wrong. Instead of sending your child off to their room or elsewhere after an episode of bad behavior, try reading a book together or taking a short walk. Once your child is quiet, talk about what they can do differently next time and encourage them to apologize for what they did. Time-ins are good for encouraging good behavior on their own.

What is the Most Effective Way to Discipline a Preschool Child?

If you are disciplining a preschool child, make sure you are clear about what you expect and that you always follow through with your responsibilities. Make sure you treat them with love and care when you tell them what will happen because they made a bad choice. Your child’s personality and age should be taken into account when choosing the most effective way of disciplining them.

Final Thoughts

Supporters of positive discipline, including those who work in school age programs in Gaithersburg, MD, say that this way of disciplining kids can help parents and kids get closer and trust each other more. When you use these five tried-and-true examples of positive punishment instead of getting angry, you teach your child that it is possible to handle frustrating situations without getting into a fight.

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