Tillman's Top 5 Tips for "Teaching" Children
1. Know your child: Learn what is normal at each age and stage of your child's development. You may have expectations that are beyond the scope of your child's abilities. Your discipline techniques will naturally change as your child ages so stay informed about what is considered age-appropriate behavior.
2. Teach your child to respect authority: For your child to respect you and others you must demonstrate respect. Obey the law, speak with kindness, show honor towards your own parents and don't openly criticize other authority figures in their lives such as teachers or community leaders. You set the standard for your child's attitude toward authority!
3. Set limits and boundaries and remain consistent: Children need and truly want clear limits and boundaries. They will not thrive or survive without them; and neither will you! Keep the rules simple and make it easy for them to comply. Children should know what is expected of them and what the consequences will be if the rules are broken.
4. Allow room for negotiation: Children are more likely to obey rules that they help to create. Discuss your expectations with your children and give them the chance to voice their opinions respectfully. Let them know that some rules are non-negotiable like health and safety issues, while others such as clothing choices or hair styles may be discussed. There is no harm in being somewhat flexible. Pick your battles carefully and don't over burden your child with too many rules.
5. Encourage and Praise your child for obedience: Believe it or not children actually want to please their parents. Praise is a valuable shaper if it is genuine and not overdone. It is not reasonable that you should praise everything your child does correctly but it is reasonable that your 'building up' words far out number your 'pulling-down' words. Remember to praise the specific behavior you are working to increase. (E.g. Instead of "You're being a good boy," say "I like the way you obeyed the first time I asked.")