Tag Archives: discipline

3 Ways to Manage Your Unruly Child (Peggy Sealfon)

3 Ways to Manage Your Unruly Child, Peggy SealfonIf your child is continuously combative and disrespectful to you, imagine that same child at the age of 17 driving off in a car. If you do not reign in behaviors from early ages, you are dooming your child’s future and you are destined for a troubled relationship. Would you let your child eat bad foods, drink poisonous substances, or play with dangerous toys? Allowing out-of-control behaviors is toxic to the family and the child.

Always Testing Limits

Children are always testing their boundaries; a parent’s job is to define those limits clearly within the family structure. As a parent, you must be confident, kind and committed to what’s acceptable regardless of a child’s emotional reaction.

Know that crying is not a death sentence, it’s a growing experience. Discipline and accountability are key elements in raising well-balanced, well-adjusted children. If you allow unruly behavior at any age, your kids will assume it’s acceptable. Remember you’re not their friend, you’re their parent and you need to mentor them.

Three Ways …

Here are a few recommendations:

1. Develop family rules and be consistent in adhering to them. For instance, children should have chores around the house appropriate to their age. They should keep their rooms tidy and help with meals, cleanup, etc. When they do these tasks, offer positive reinforcements, such as saying, “I’m so fortunate to have such a thoughtful child who did all the dinner chores tonight without even being asked…Thank you.”

On the other hand, if they fail to perform the requested activities, you need to activate consequences. Be firm without raising your voice. If they misbehave at the dinner table or with their siblings, they lose privileges such as play dates, no TV, no games, no phone. Depending on the severity of the infraction, they may be confined to their room for a period to think about what they’ve done.

Consider a young adult who got fired from his job. Did he understand what would happen when he got caught with drugs on the drug test? It is important to teach children accountability: If you do something wrong, there are penalties. It’s okay if they learn to use an excuse with their peers for avoiding bad choices such as “My Dad will kill me if I do that.”

Escape from Anxiety, Peggy Sealfon2. Teach respectfulness and kindness. Help your child recognize feelings of gratitude. With young children, reinforce positive moments. For instance, if one child shares a toy with another, say aloud how happy and grateful the receiving child appears so it becomes a teachable moment.

Create a gratitude jar. Ask your child to write one thing they are grateful for each week and put the comment in a beautifully decorated jar. At the end of the month, spend time together as a family reviewing the entries. Words and notes of thanks should also be encouraged and can help children explore feelings of gratitude further.

When your child exhibits positive behaviors, take time to give a compliment.

Make volunteering part of your life by donating family time to help a charitable organization. Use such an opportunity to bring awareness about others who are less fortunate.

When Countess Stella Andrassy was growing up in a privileged household in her native Sweden, every Christmas her parents made sure that she and her siblings visited several homeless shelters to distribute gifts before they were permitted to enjoy their own holiday gifts. “It gave me greater appreciation for all that I had,” the Countess once shared with me. There are few things comparable to the feeling one experiences by helping someone else. Selflessness and kindness are important lessons so children aren’t always thinking about just themselves. You can help them expand their awareness so they’ll learn to enjoy doing things for others.

3. Be conscientious about setting a good example. Walk the walk by exhibiting values and integrity. Let them catch you doing the right stuff. For example, a cash machine delivers $120 when you requested $100. Exemplify the behavior you want to encourage by giving back the $20 in front of your children. Hold the door open for others so that you teach them respect and awareness.

Let children witness you taking care of yourself and dealing with life’s challenges in constructive ways. Show them how to relax with what is. Instead of focusing on problems, withdraw from any immediate dramas and pause for a time out to be able to see a clearer, more productive solution.

More than likely, you have all the basics for your survival. You may want more or are improving yourself but in this very moment, you’re okay. Let your children know that they’re okay. Create a sense of safety and security for your child full of love and support. In this parental environment, children thrive and grow to be valuable adults who contribute to a better world!

Give Yourself a Break

If you’re having difficulty getting centered yourself, try my free audio at 3MinutestoDestress.com. By taking a brief mental pause, you will refresh your mind and body. It will help you think more clearly, feel more energized, function more effectively, and ultimately reduce stress so that you’ll be more present and available for your children! ###

Peggy Sealfon is a personal development coach and author of the best-selling book, Escape from Anxiety—Supercharge Your Life with Powerful Strategies from A to Z. CLICK HERE for a free consultation with Peggy, or visit her website at PeggySealfon.com.

 

 

Restorative Justice: Reviewing the Evidence (by Ken Johnson)

BTSpReportIn 2012, Judge Steven C. Teske, a juvenile court judge for Clayton County, went before a Georgia Senate Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights to testify about law enforcement efforts in the school system. According to Judge Teske, there were only 49 students referred to juvenile court the year before police were placed in the schools. Just eight years later, the judge noted a 2,757% increase as that number skyrocketed to over 1,400 students being sent to court each year. The judge somberly noted how the prosecutor attentions have diverged  from “the more difficult evidentiary and ‘scary’ cases – burglary, robberies, car thefts, aggravated assaults with weapons” to “ prosecuting kids that are not ‘scary,’ but made an adult mad.”

KJohnsonphotoA Case in Point

This was evidenced just recently in November of 2014 when Kayleb Moon-Robinson, an autistic sixth grader in Virginia, was arrested not once but twice with the judge even ordering an officer to show Kayleb a jail cell so that he could see where he was headed. What was his offense? What terror was this autistic child perpetrating? According to a Public Radio International report, his first offense was a disorderly conduct charge for knocking over a trash can. A few weeks later, a principal called in the same officer to arrest the child when he refused to go to the end of the line of children exiting the class. Reports say the cop grabbed Kayleb around the chest, threw him to the ground, and handcuffed him.

This sounds horrible. But, would your opinion change if you knew Kayleb was Black? In a recent Stanford research study, “Two Strikes: Race and the Disciplining of Young Students,” Professor Jennifer Eberhardt and graduate student Jason Okonofua found evidence to support race matters significantly when talking about patterns of willful defiance. In their research, the two showed teachers discipline files of various children. When a racial-invoking name such as “DeShawn” vs “Greg” was used, perceptions changed drastically with teachers expressing feelings how Black students should be disciplined more severely than White students after only two infractions – many of which expressing a feeling that the Black students should be suspended.

Okonofua and Eberhardt correlated their findings with other social relationships such as police and civilian, employer and employee, prison guard and prisoner, etc. The same race-based escalation effect is seen when all evidence but race is the same. Their suggestion is to use intervention strategies with teacher training so they will view behavior as something malleable rather than one of fixed disposition.

Effects on Relationships

According to Edward W. Morris, a sociologist at the University of Kentucky, “Schools should really be about relationships.” In a joint research study of more than 17,000 students by researchers at both Indiana University and the University of Kentucky, students are mentally and emotionally harmed when they see their peers being suspended. In “Suspending Progress: Collateral Consequences of Exclusionary Punishment in Schools,” it was noted how lower math and reading scores were found in schools with high rates of suspensions.

It’s for this reason that California became the first state in the nation to ban suspensions of any kind for children in Grades K-3 as well as a ban on any and all expulsions for students charged with willful defiance. In the Pasadena Unified School District, they went a step farther to extend AB420 to ban any and all willful defiance suspensions for children in Grades K-12. Public Counsel’s Ruth Cusick noted, “It’s not about taking something away from our teachers or administrators but actually being honest together about what works and what’s going to increase your attendance and increase academic achievement in schools.”

Restorative Justice

KJohnsonbookSo, what works if status quo is failing so badly? According to many school districts, Restorative Justice is one promising answer.

Thanks to Restorative Justice practices, the state of California now reports suspensions are down by over 50,000 students. The Oakland Unified School District reports, since establishing some RJ sites, a significant difference between schools. In particular, RJ sites showed a 60% increase in graduation rates, a 128% increase in Grade 9 reading scores, a 24% drop in chronic absenteeism, and a 56% decline in the dropout rate. Meanwhile, non-RJ sites showed only a 7% increase in the graduation rate (57% below that of RJ sites), only an 11% increase in Grade 9 reading scores (117% below that of RJ sites), an increase of 62% in the chronic absenteeism (an 86% difference from RJ sites), and only a modest 17% decline in the dropout rate (39% below that of RJ sites). The OUSD noted how racial disparities in school discipline reports have also declined while noting how Blacks used to be referred in far greater numbers than Whites for similar offenses.

Today, a number of Restorative Justice practices are being used with great success. In my book, Unbroken Circles for Schools, I noted the top five research-proven strategies for reducing conflict and wrongful behavior while also increasing student performance and civic behavior. These strategies involve daily circles, peer mediation, justice panels, conferences, and justice circles. Through the use of atonement and Reintegrative Shaming Theory, the focus is placed squarely on a malleable perception of behavior much as Stanford researchers suggest. Meanwhile, overlapping layers of “best suited” practices places a focus on relationships much as the University of Kentucky and Indiana University researchers suggest using. ###

Ken Johnson is a private researcher, writer, lecturer, and consultant on issues of culture and conflict. Organizational architecture and anabolic (positive) conflict are just some of the key issues he investigates. Though written for the school system, his book, Unbroken Circles for Schools, has core concepts which can be applied to various life applications. (Click on the photo of the book above for more information.) To learn more about Ken and his work, CLICK HERE to visit his website.

 

 

Change Without Coercion (Guest: Dr. Marvin Marshall)

Coercion as a means of gaining compliance from a child or teen has several drawbacks. For one, pleading, threatening, and similar gestures will only work as long as the pressure is applied. It’s NOT the way to build a close and lasting relationship.

Our guest on this program, Dr. Marvin Marshall, suggests that teaching responsibility brings better and more lasting results than stressing obedience. In this program, he’ll introduce a proactive and totally noncoercive (but not permissive) approach.

Dr. Marshall is the author of the landmark book, Discipline without Stress, Punishments, or Rewards: How Teachers and Parents Promote Responsibility and Learning. His strategies for promoting responsibility and learning are being used in schools and homes around the world.

Dr. Marshall’s informative website is www.MarvinMarshall.com. His many resources for educators and parents can be found at www.PiperPress.com. He has also established the nonprofit foundation located at www.DisciplinewithoutStress.org.

Note: We will be interviewing Dr. Marshall again in the future. In that radio show, he will share more deeply about his work and how it functions. (25:47)

To listen, use the player below or left-click the link. To access the file, right-click and “Save Target as …” to save to your audio device), CLICK HERE.

Change without Coercion (Guest: Dr. Marvin Marshall)

Coercion as a means of gaining compliance from a child or teen has several drawbacks. For one, pleading, threatening, and similar gestures will only work as long as the pressure is applied. It’s NOT the way to build a close and lasting relationship.

Our guest on this program, Dr. Marvin Marshall, suggests that teaching responsibility brings better and more lasting results than stressing obedience. In this program, he’ll introduce a proactive and totally noncoercive (but not permissive) approach.

Dr. Marshall is the author of the landmark book, Discipline without Stress, Punishments, or Rewards: How Teachers and Parents Promote Responsibility and Learning. His strategies for promoting responsibility and learning are being used in schools and homes around the world.

Dr. Marshall’s informative website is www.MarvinMarshall.com. His many resources for educators and parents can be found at www.PiperPress.com. He has also established the nonprofit foundation located at www.DisciplinewithoutStress.org.

Note: We will be interviewing Dr. Marshall again in the future. In that radio show, he will share more deeply about his work and how it functions. (25:47)

To listen, use the player below or left-click the link. To access the file, right-click and “Save Target as …” to save to your audio device), CLICK HERE.