By Nigel Boys
What’s the best way of correcting your children and which disciplinary technique do you use? Maybe the best thing to do is ask the experts on child behavior about their views.
According to Katarzyna Bisaga, M.D., Ph.D., mother of three and a specialist when it comes to the challenges of raising children, one of the worst things that parents can do is to get into a power-struggle with their child to prove who is boss.
The clinical professor in the Division of Child Psychiatry at Columbia University, New York, goes on to say that there are other ways of making your children do what you want, like giving them a reward. She adds that making a star chart for good behavior is a fine example of the reward system and you can trade stars for cash rewards or treats at the end of the week.
The child psychiatrist continues that parents should be careful of rewarding their children in other ways, such as allowing them computer gaming time or watching TV, because this may lead to arguments later when you decide it’s time to switch off.
Bisaga’s oldest child, Marcin, was having issues with getting ready on time in the mornings for school, according to the mother of three. She adds that the star chart worked fine for him, just as it did when he was learning to use a potty.
However, the star chart will not work with every child, admits the psychiatrist. She adds that you should find different ways of handling each child, because each has his or her unique identity.
With unruly or excessively hyperactive children, Bisaaga believes that parents should perhaps give them a time out if they won’t behave. She adds that her second child, Emily, would not respond to the star chart system, but time outs worked fine with her.
The clinical professor also believes that you should explain exactly what it is that you expect from your child and not just tell them to behave themselves. She adds that parents should tell difficult or aggressive children, precisely what is expected of them and give them rewards when they comply.
Finally, Dr. Bisaga advises that parents should continue with the reward system, even if at first it doesn’t seem to be working out. She adds, above all, have patience with your child, because if you succeed with one behavioral problem, the next problem is easier to solve.