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Control - and Opposition

As paradoxical as it sounds, the more control you can give to a child the less oppositional and defiant he is likely to be... While ODD is real and there are specific techniques to deal with it, for a typical child who is simply opppositional because he needs autonomy, the best techniques are to give him as much control of his own actions as possible.

This is done by giving him choices and by acknowledging his feelings respectfully and by allowing him warning about transitions that are coming up...

I am going to reproduce something here that is intended for parents, but which express my philosophy and methods in both parenting and teaching.. Please realize that this is NOT original though I have added to it along the way and reworded freely from many sources. Also realize that you have to take only what resonates with your own style and that this list is not intended to be a formula or a definititve list of all possible techniques that someone can use with children...

It is the attitude that is important, imho and I am constantly refining this list as I find new things that fit with it on the mailrings and on the newsgroups I frequent

Positive Parenting

The idea of these methods is to be proactive and not reactive. To empower the child rather than to control his behavior. To see the child's individual needs and abilities rather than to use some general techniques. To adapt these things to particular situations using the basic principle of reapect for the child's feelings and human rights. Part of this is simply a change in the way you speak to your child and in the attitude that you show toward him when you really look at him and listen to him carefully.

Mostly, this boils down to LISTEN to your child and RESPECT his unique needs and feelings.

First, model the behavior you want your child to emulate. Children learn what they live. Teach by example, not words.

Second, always try to look for the underlying cause of the behavior and address that so that the need is actually met in acceptable ways. Assume your child is good even when his behavior doesn't meet your standards.

Third, state your rules and requests in positive ways, not negative ones - Please walk is always more effective than don't run.

Fourth, explain on the child's developmental level exactly what you want done again in positive terms - state what he can do, not what he can't do. Get down on the child's physical level and look at him when you explain. Know your child's abilities and don't underestimate his understanding and talk down to him or her, but do look at him when you are speaking and explain in words that he or she understands.

Fifth, redirect a child who is doing something that you dislike to something he can do now instead of what he is doing. Give the child choices between many things that are acceptable to you and he won't have to find something that is unacceptable so that he can have control. Whenever possible, let the child decide on what he should do even if the choice he makes is different from what you think is the best one. Children learn from making choices

Sixth, give your child warnings of transitions so that they become easier to manage. Children need time to finish what they are doing. Persistence in doing a task is a virtue and should be encouraged. So try to allow children to finish what they start even when it is just a game.

Seventh, allow for time-outs when your emotions or the child's are out of control. Time-outs can be used non-punitively to allow both the adult and child to regain control of their emotions. Let the child control the amount of time he stays in the time-out. Give him the control and he may put himself in time-out when he feels he needs it without your having to initiate this at all. Use it yourself too if your own emotions fly out of control. It's a great way to calm yourself down. And apologize when you make a mistake or fly off the handle. Children will forgive you and you will have given them an example of how we interact and accept mistakes forgiving ourselves for them and making amends when we can.

Eighth, say what you mean and mean what you say. Don't give a lot of warnings, give one and then act.

Ninth, plan for situations before they arise. Try to have some idea of what you will do so that you can stay calm and not react in anger. When you do need to change the child's behavior do so calmly and quickly. Pick up a young child and remove him from the situation or redirect him to some positive activity without yelling and without anger. Talk in a reasonable and normal tone of voice. convey the message of love with your voice and your body.

Tenth, as your child grows, try to involve him in planning the rules that are necessary. Let him make some of the decisions within reasonable guidelines so that he begins to trust his own feelings about what is right and what is wrong. You can use role-playing and dramatic play to help your child figure out what she can do when situations come up that are difficult for her. Always involve her in solving the problem. Let her brainstorm different things she can do and then let her choose from the acceptable alternatives she comes up with.

Search for discipline on this site or read some of the articles related to spanking and parenting. There is a study of the long term results of responsive parenting also which supports some of the results that I've seen with children

Try the following URLs for effective ways to discipline children without spanking or yelling

And try the discipline links on the web site below for a great list of books that you can use to help you chose methods that work for you

Two good resource books are:

How To Talk So Kids Will Listen And Listen So Kids Will Talk and How To Talk So Kids Will Learn by Adele Faber.and Elaine Mazlish.


There is no sound, no cry in all the world that can be heard unless someone listens .. source unknown

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Last updated: Saturday, 03-Jan-2015 18:13:28 PST