>Sweet Compliance!


I taught parenting for over a year and have worked directly with parents and children for a total of nearly 4 years now in dealing with psychiatric and behavioral problems.  Here are some things I have recommended to parents in gaining compliance:

Remember three keys to discipline: present clear rules, rewards, and consequences; monitor for compliance; enforce consistently.  Positive reinforcement is as important when there is compliance, as punishment is when there is lack of compliance.

Set boundaries, but allow the child some freedom and choice within those boundaries: “Your room must be cleaned by the end of the week; how and when are up to you.”  Remember that children feel more comfortable when they have some control, but that there is really very few situations where they can exert any control.

Model the action and affect you want to see.  Work along side your child until they know what you want from them.  Use your own calm presence to calm the child at times when he may be raging, so that he takes his cues from you, rather than taking your cues from him (retaliating with screaming or severe punishment).

Use the child’s natural momentum at times when he is being compliant to get the most from him in terms of  doing tasks that are important to you.

When your child presents a problem (which usually comes in the form of a complaint), give him room to express himself without trying to solve or correct anything.  Use active listening.

Allow plenty of free play and expression.  You can learn a lot from watching, and it gives the child the opportunity to choose how they spend that time.  Don’t worry about structuring everything.

Allow natural consequences and disappointments to teach children hard lessons- just be there to help put it all in perspective.


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