The Parent-Teacher-Child Connection: On Creative Discipline

Friday, August 19, 2011

On Creative Discipline

Over my many years of teaching, I reminded my students that the key to successful child care is a creative view to discipline.  It's not enough to put a child in time out to "think about what he's done wrong" because I'm pretty sure that's not what's going to happen.  It's certainly not acceptable to spank, slap, or verbally abuse a child when she's done something wrong.  So what's a parent (or teacher) to do?  Here are some creative discipline ideas that I've used or have heard about ....

  1. Write a letter of apology to the person who was offended by the behavior.
  2. Use a time-in/ time-out philosophy.  If a child breaks a vase and you must take your time to clean it up, then he must use some of his play time to help around the house somehow.
  3. Sit down and read a story (or make up a story) about a child who learned his lesson.
  4. Jail time - this is similar to the time out theory, but with a twist.  Sit a young child in a laundry basket for a specific period of time (no more than 10 minutes because little kids don't understand time).  During this time, walk away and don't pay any attention to the tantrum or other attention-getting devices.
  5. Payment.  Have a discipline jar where you add money from the child's personal account for things he has done wrong.  The money in that jar should be designated for needy children.
  6. Let them decide when they're going to be good.  This one usually works better than you think it will.  Simply say, "Let me know when you understand how to behave."  Walk away, and I can almost guarantee that your little felon will come back with his understanding of the situation.
What other creative discipline ideas can you share?

Happy Parenting!

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