Effective discipline in early childhood

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Effective discipline in early childhood

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Discipline is one of the biggest subjects for parents. I get the most questions about this and I think it’s because parents find it confusing, they don’t know what to do in each particular situation, when really the answer is to create the relationship that will make discipline an easy, fluid thing. And the relationship that I think works the best – that I found – is the analogy of we’re a CEO and our child is a very highly respected, talented underling that we’re training for this job. So we’re not going to get mad if they do something wrong, we’re just going to gently say, “No, not that way. This way.” Or, “I can’t let you do this, but this is okay.” So children like that. They just want to know what’s expected, they just want to know what we want. They don’t want to be, you know… people that drive us crazy, they really just want the answers. But I think sometimes we have a hard time with the tone. I know some parents will get… make a huge point out of it saying, “That hurts, you don’t hit your friend,” when it’s a 9 month baby, instead of just saying, “You know, I’m not going to let you do that,” and putting your hand there. Or the parent will say like, “That hurts me, okay? Don’t hit. Auch!” And that gives a child a scary message that their parent is not in control and maybe they’re in charge and they could maybe hurt their parents, so that’s not a healthy thing either. So it’s really figuring out this tone and this relationship and then that will guide you through all the specific situations that you need to set limits in. And our children need them.

Watch Janet Lansbury's video on Effective discipline in early childhood...

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Janet Lansbury

RIE Parenting Expert

Janet Lansbury is a parenting advisor, writer and teacher. She has served on the board of directors of Resources for Infant Educarers (RIE) for over a decade, written childcare articles and been a frequent presenter at early childhood conferences. A former actress/model (Janet Julian), Janet found her true calling when she gave birth to her first child and sought guidance from renowned infant expert Magda Gerber. Inspired and mentored by Gerber in the early 1990s, Janet became a RIE Parent/Infant Guidance Class instructor and has since had the privilege of providing support and guidance to thousands of parents and caregivers throughout Los Angeles. Most recently, she has become a prolific and influential parenting blogger with a worldwide following.

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