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Discipline activities for young children

Feb 08, 2010 | By Kelly Boyer

Ways Parents Can Help Children Understand Their own Behavior

Reward chartStages of development are different for every child, especially when it comes to discipline. Parents have the difficult job of discovering what techniques really work.

Parents can encourage children to use their own problem solving skills to help them become accountable for their own inappropriate behavior. Enhancing these skills not only effectively aids in disciplining, but it focuses on the goals of teaching children between right and wrong, how to respect others, and self-control.

Problem solving and self-discipline are often terms that coincide with each other. Children who are internally working out problems are also learning how to self-discipline themselves. Parents who participate with children in disciplinary activities can encourage positive behavior.

Discipline Activities Parents Can Use

Although there are a variety of activities parents can do to help children understand their own behavior, the use of tangible objects gives them a sense of awareness. The consistent repetition will remind children about the appropriate behavior that is expected of them.

Marble jarBehavioral Charts are great ways children can track their progress throughout the day. The chart is designed to give children three opportunities to correct inappropriate behavior through a color system using green, yellow, and red. Every day children should begin on green. This color represents behavior that is acceptable. Yellow is a warning, letting children know that the negative choices they are making need to be changed. During this stage, children are given a chance to adjust their bad behavior. When there is no change and children continue to misbehave, the final stage is red. Red requires that disciplinary action must take place. It is to show children that there are consequences for bad behavior.

Children gain a better understanding of how the behavior chart works when they are actively involved. Children discipline themselves the hardest. Having them come up with consequences when acting inappropriately makes them aware of their behavior. Allowing them to change the color on the chart forces them to take responsibility for their actions. Be sure to place the chart in an area that easily accessible and parents need to remember to reward children for their good behavior as well.

The Marble Jar activity can be used as a rewards and discipline method. Parents use a jar and label several rewards on the jar one on top of the other. These rewards are goals that children must achieve by placing marbles into the jar when behavior is acceptable. Parents can decide on the number of marbles children can place in the jar. When children are misbehaving the activity works in the opposite way, by children removing marbles from the jar. If the jar becomes empty, parents should decide on a disciplinary action.

Rewards Systems for Children

Sticker charts can be effective in encouraging positive behavior. The chart is used strictly as a rewards system for children when they are doing what is expected of them. Children need to be encouraged to maintain positive behavior throughout the entire day before the reward of a sticker can be given. Using a monthly calendar to keep track of the days that each sticker was received gives children a visual perspective on how well they are behaving. Parents should have children place the sticker on the day of the month in which it was earned.

Setting goals for children to achieve using the sticker chart also encourages good behavior. Involve children in the decision making when deciding the rewards. If the goal is good behavior everyday for one week and children succeed then be sure to follow through with the reward that was promised. Some great examples of rewards are:

  • Spending a day with mommy or daddy
  • Picking the next movie to rent
  • Not having to do chores for a day
  • Taking a trip to the ice cream store

Parents often believe that children should not be involved when it comes to making disciplinary decisions. Getting children involved in the behavior correcting activities makes them more aware of their behavior. It also forces them to use problem solving skills throughout the day to make positive decisions regarding their behavior. Using tangible objects can make discipline more of a reality for children helping them understand there are always consequences for their actions, whether it is positive or negative.

About the author:
Kelly Boyer
is a freelance writer and former teacher, with Bachelor of Arts Degree in Education and an emphasis in Early Childhood Development. She has extensive experience in the educational field, where some of her specialties include helping needy families, working with children who have behavioral problems, and community outreach.
Click here to contact or read more articles by Kelly Boyer.

Tags : kids, children, behavior, discipline, tips

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