Parental Guide to Discipline for Middle Childhood: Six to Eleven years old By: Megan Durbin
What is discipline? Training and/or teaching children to act in accordance with rules Helping children to learn the proper way to get along with others Permitting children to make their own mistakes and experience the consequences of those choices
Developmental Stage of Discipline for Six to Eleven Year Olds By the time children reach school, they are able to comprehend and understand the reasons for rules. During this time, they are learning self-control and enhancing their own sense of responsibility. The idea of equality is still complex to this age group
Effective Discipline Strategies Use language to help solve problems – The first step towards disciplining your child is to establish straightforward rules. When a child misbehaves make sure they express their feelings and thoughts in words, rather than actions. This will help your children to understand their own behavior and the behavior of others. Natural Consequences – Through this idea, children are able to learn from their own mistakes. For example, if a child forgot his/her vocabulary list at school and the quiz is tomorrow, the child will learn to face the consequences and to plan ahead in the future.
Effective Discipline Strategies Logical Consequences – Parents must set forth certain rules and consequences at appropriate times. For example, if a parent tells her nine year old daughter to clean her room and she does not follow through then a certain activity will be taken away. Parents must be firm and consistent when implementing these rules. Also, parents should not overreact during these situations.
Effective Discipline Strategies Rewards – Through the use of positive reinforcement, parents can reward children with praise and attention when they follow rules and are behaving in an appropriate way. Rewards can be give in tangible objects such as stickers, prizes, etc. Verbal rewards are very successful as well. Motivating factors such as a special trip or extra play time are seen as excellent rewards.
Effective Discipline Strategies Time-Out – This is an effective way to treat problem behavior throughout early and middle childhood. Certain steps need to be followed in this process. 1. Make sure to set rules ahead of time 2. Pick a particular time-out spot 3. Begin the time-out 4. Set a time limit 5. Make sure the child has calmed down 6. Let child go back to original activity
Effective Discipline Strategies Ignoring –This is a successful tool in decreasing problem behavior. This effortless action allows for the children to understand that he/she will not receive attention for this particular behavior. Many parents often tell their child to stop performing a certain act, which results in attention and an increase in the problem behavior.
How Parents Can Improve The Effectiveness of Discipline Discipline must be kept within your child’s age and developmental level Always think before you speak Be consistent with your child Remember the purpose of discipline is to help children learn to do what is right because they have the independence to make that choice, not because they are worried about punishment Pay attention to your child’s feelings
Styles of Discipline Permissive 1. Not very many rules 2. Let children do as they wish Moderate 1. Parents set limits, but let the children make there own choices 2. Natural and logical consequences are present in this discipline 3. Parent have a firm hand on their children, but use warmth, kindness and love to express feelings. Strict 1. Parents use physical punishment 2. Obedience is the only way 3. Parents do not clarify reason behind the demand
Studies on Moderate Style of Discipline Recent studies support that the moderate style of discipline is most effective with children versus a parent who is overly permissive or overly strict. Parents who raise their children using a moderate style of discipline have more self-assurance, more responsibility and a drive to explore the world.
Evaluated Your Personal Style of Discipline Questions to ask yourself: How do I usually discipline? In the past, how did I react when problem behavior came about? Am I overly permissive or over demanding? How does my child’s feelings change when I change my style of discipline?
Why Spanking Should Not Be The Top Choice Spanking does not eliminate the behavior, even though at first it appears that way Spanking increases aggression and anger Parents often overreact when they spank their child and will later regret their decision Spanking can lead to greater problems, such as physical struggles or cause harm to the child
References Discipling your child. (n.d.). Retrieved from www.healthychildren.org Gurian, Ph.D, A, & Goodman, Ph.D, R. (n.d.). About discipline - helping children develop self-control. Retrieved from www.aboutourkids.org Malley, C. (n.d.). Effective discipline for young children. Retrieved from www.nncc.org Telep, V. (n.d.). Discipline for young children. Retrieved from http://pubs.ext.vt.edu