Child training is what parents need to do in order to have a peaceful home, to have children who listen, who can be taught, and who can contribute in the home and outside it, but many don’t know how to go about training their children in a healthy and longlasting way.
They can feel like it is wrong, or that the feelings of frustration and anger they feel at times toward misbehaved children are merely an example of their lack of love and patience.
Rather than the honest feelings of a human struggling with another’s bad behaviour.
It’s okay to train your children
Some feel strongly against child training in any form, from perhaps misuse in some form or other toward themselves from their own parents.
Others, feel that children can learn to regulate emotions and reactions and learn the standards of society and in their home, in a way that will come naturally with time.
Children need training, it’s why adults have children, adults, have “hopefully” learned how to function in society as decent human beings, and can be kind, helpful, honest, hard-working, and empathetic.
Strangely enough, we aren’t born with these qualities.
They are taught and drilled into us with repetition, with childhood years, spent in a home with parents who took the time to introduce and enforce those standards.
There is nothing wrong with child training.
There is nothing wrong with having children who listen, help, and are kind, hard-working and empathetic. There is everything wrong with having children who are selfish, rude, loud, unkind and disrespectful.
Raising children has become a gag reel.
It’s apparently funny to joke about getting rid of the children for the weekend, or being desperate for school to start and saying how much you are hating school holidays in front of your children, needing that glass of wine at 5 pm because “kids”
To many parents it’s best to spend as little time as possible facing the child you created, when they scream you huff, roll your eyes and think ‘here we go’ and since it’s been a long day, you take the easy way out, scrape away the dinner you made and give them a peanut butter sandwich.
They demand tomato sauce, so you give it to them no matter what, even if you have to get up from the table and drive to the store to get some.
Do you think that child will grow out of that behaviour?
will they magically wake up one day and be the child, the teen, the adult you are waiting for?
When parents joke about waiting for the kids to move out, get older, and to be more self-reliant, what kind of adult are they talking about?
Is it one they are investing the effort to create? or is it just hoping things get better before then?
Good people are raised not born.
So many will learn that too late.
What can you expect from child training?
what to expect from child training.
- Hard work. it’s not the easiest way, hence why many don’t bother, but it is by the far the most fruitful, you will transform your children into kind, honest, reliable and respectful people, who even from a young age you will enjoy talking to, spending time with and creating the ultimate parent-child bond.
- A better home life. Children who help with running the home, who can respect boundaries, who can go to sleep in their own beds, who can eat the meals you prepare, who can play together without fighting.
- You won’t be afraid to leave the house. If you have young children who are untrained it can be daunting to take them out, you need help, you need as many hands as possible, if you take the time to train your children, you can leave the house and have a good time, busy yes, but not terrible, you can take them to shop for groceries, or to the park and rest easy.
- You will enjoy time spent with your children. spending time with children who are loud, who don’t listen, and who fight around you all the time is no fun. Having a child who can sit by you, and talk, who can listen if they need to, who can be in a room with adults and understand healthy boundaries and respect is nice, you want more of it, you will realise that it’s great to have children around, when they learn simple rules and standards, you will enjoy their company and be able to spend quality time as a family.
- Teens you will be proud of. Child training is hard work, and many parents want to spare their children any hardship or discipline when they are little, but they aren’t thinking ahead. what happens when it’s not up to you anymore? we forget that our babies are going to be men and women, who have to make choices that affect others. When your child is 18 and suddenly you realise their bad behaviour can have serious consequences. Drink driving, speeding, lying, stealing, mistreating others, all these things are going to get disciplined by police, courts and judges. We as parents can’t guarantee that it won’t ever happen but who wants to take the chance? I want to have tried my very best, and not leave it to ‘fate’
What is child training?
Child training is having a child in your care and training them to a set of standards, for your home and their future wellbeing.
child training is not wrong and it is definitely not new.
If you want a child/family that is well behaved, that is a joy to be in the home with, that you can watch grow into people you admire, then you want to start training your children, day by day, in small things and big things until the day they leave the nest.
What child training is not
Child training does not create robots.
Your children will still be loud. they will disobey, they will learn new behaviours at every stage and push boundaries.
Children want to run, to find fun, and to create chaos.
you will catch them lying, and see them mistreat others.
Child training is to reign in behaviours so you can function as a family that enjoys each other.
Children are children, they are full of energy, they want to have fun, they want yummy food and sweet drinks, they cry when you say no (we will talk about this!), and they act out when they are tired.
Child training is not the end to children’s behaviours that you don’t like forever.
It is a way for you to help them as they grow with tools for you and standards for them to help them become better people and ready to enter the world on their own as well as have an enjoyable home life in the foreseeable future.
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The 4 pillars of child training.
Child training is flexible to a point.
But it needs to have some kind of law.
Something to ground you, to help you and to give your children the consistency they need to learn new things and stick to them.
Pillar 1. Set your standards
You must have standards.
- You do not alter your standards.
- They do not change from day to day, or if the child is tired or if it’s at a friend’s place.
Not all your standards have to be set ahead of time, as new behaviours appear, you will have to introduce new standards, which means not allowing old behaviours and introducing new ones.
This will happen all the time.
Don’t be afraid to raise the bar
If you demand something of your children you are not Stalin.
You are a mother who needs a standard met for her sanity, and because she knows best.
If you require your children to eat their dinner at a set time, in a quiet manner and without crying then that is not too much, it is normal, and it makes the dinner enjoyable for all.
You know as a parent that home-cooked food is good for your children.
You know this behaviour is healthy.
Set the standard and don’t budge.
If you feel like you are losing your mind because your toddler is trashing the house ( I am currently training my toddler right now for this very thing) then don’t allow it! stop them, direct them to where they can play, and teach them to help put their mess away.
In a way, this is harder than ignoring the problem physically.
Mentally, can be hard as well, but for a short time.
stick to it and soon that behaviour is gone, and you can enjoy your home, with a toddler.
Don’t sit back and blame the terrible twos, stand up and do something!
What kind of standards to set for my kids?
It’s up to you, I can only share my own.
They are not outlandish.
FREE DOWNLOADABLE STANDARD SHEET FOR AGE-APPROPRIATE CHILD TRAINING STANDARDS YOU CAN INSTILL IN YOUR KIDS!
AT WHAT AGE CAN YOU START CHILD TRAINING?
I cannot give an age to the day.
But you can start when your child begins to understand simple terms and actions.
Usually at around 1 year to 18 months old if you have an early walker you can also start when they begin to walk on their own.
If you take a look at my standards sheet you will see what you can start to teach your child at this young age.
The reasons for starting this young are purely for their safety if nothing else.
Not to touch something hot, not to run onto a road with traffic, not to get themselves in a potentially dangerous situation requires even a small child to understand and react to what you saying. No.
Keep it simple.
Don’t say no, honey don’t go there you will get hit by someone, or that is too hot for you right now, or I don’t want you to hurt yourself!
Just say NO.
Not to be rude or overly commanding, but to keep the command simple, to keep it clear and keep it available for emergencies, those times when you REALLY need that little toddling child to STOP AND LISTEN!
Set a few standards, don’t allow them to touch something, or not allow them to go somewhere and stick to it, create a simple word command, and always follow through with the disciplinary action you choose to have them understand that you have set something off-limits.
PILLAR 2: CHOOSE YOUR DISCIPLINE.
You need to have a Discipline structure.
It needs to be effective.
It needs to be something you do not alter, and that you do consistently.
Preferably it needs to be something short and sweet like a smack on the bottom, which is what I do for all my children.
If you are uncomfortable with smacking your children you can choose something else, but I encourage you to find some way that establishes your control of the situation.
What does discipline accomplish?
Disciplining your children accomplishes 4 things.
- It lets the children know that you can and will make them pay in some way for their bad behaviour. (puts you in control)
- It sets ground rules, and creates consistency which children thrive on!
- It allows you to create a peaceful home life and enjoyable structured childhoods for your children where they can grow and be encouraged in good behaviour
- It prepares your children for the outside world, where they can function as reliable, respectful members of society who are liked and enjoyed by those around them from a young age.
WHAT SHOULD DISCIPLINE LOOK LIKE?
Discipline should be effective. (it should work to correct a certain behaviour every time!)
It shouldn’t take too long to discipline a child for a certain act. If your discipline methods are lengthy and hard to do consistently then they have lost their effectiveness.
Discipline should not be done out of anger. Many parents shy away from smacking a child (or Disciplining a child altogether), most likely because they were smacked or disciplined in anger as a child or having done so to their own child and don’t like how it feels to lose control or feel you have lost control and done something wrong. (discipline is not wrong just learn to do it the right way!)
Discipline should be done when you are in a state of calm which means you discipline the first time the child disobeys and not the 10th. If you do let yourself get angry, take moment to calm down tell the child if they are old enough that this action will get disciplined, but that you will do it in a few minutes, and have them wait until you are cool and calm and ready to discipline int he manner you choose.
Discipline should be done daily and consistently when needed. This is hard, especially when you have multiple children and you are just starting out, it will take a while for you and the child to get used to the idea of child training and you taking back control CONSISTENCY IS KEY.
Choose a few standards and implement them a few a time until the new behaviour is learned. then move on to the next.
You will have to Discipline less over time as the children realise you mean business! If you do it the first time, every time then you actually do it less!
PILLAR 3: ALWAYS FOLLOW THROUGH!
Follow-through means taking action against bad behaviour every time!
If you don’t, then your children will ALWAYS push boundaries, they will see if you follow through on your words.
If you say one more time and then I’m going to put you to bed!
Will you follow through? will you ignore their crying when you do follow through?
How many times will you do this before the child realises you mean business and stops the behaviour?
Most likely? not many.
The rules of following through
- Do not say something you don’t mean. If you arent willing to take the ice cream of a child who won’t share, at the park then don’t say it. choose another alternative, but don’t alter your standards! (this is why I prefer to smack my children, it’s quick and gets the message across, without 20 minutes of crying and I can have the child share, not change my standards for the public setting and not create alternate behaviours when we are out, which if you allow you will create little angels at home and monsters our of it!)
- PLEASE DON’T COUNT TO THREE! so many parents think this is fair. and look, it seems fair, and it feels better than giving a child one chance. We all love our children immensely and to do something we don’t like (discipline them) we just want them to do what we ask without having to go all the way. What you are really doing? is teaching the child that they can wait till you get to 3 to do what you ask and if you are a parent that doesn’t follow through? then you have a child which is making you stand and wait, for however many times you choose to count to 3 before you both know nothing will happen and you will most likely alter your standard or just huff and walk away and hope the next command is one the child will obey or least will be hustled into with bribery.
- Follow up on follow through! if you 1, ask for behaviour to stop, or ask the child to do something and they don’t, and you 2. (follow-through) approach the child, hand out your chosen discipline action there is a third step, do not allow your child to act out in any way after you have disciplined! this means they cant throw something, slam a door or yell at you or stomp feet, run and hide for hours, or grunt at you when you look at them this is them giving you cheek or lip as some call it and it should not be tolerated!
- DON’T IGNORE DISRESPECT! if you ignore the above behaviours and allow your child to show you disrespect it allows your child to think that their feelings and actions of not liking the discipline and taking it out on you are okay, and if you allow that to grow, not only will it make disciplining your children very hard both daily and as they get older but it makes them feel justified in making you feel unjust. adults must obey laws, and if they do not they can be disciplined by the justice system, some adults learn from it, others never do, and there is one difference, one can understand that they were in the wrong, and others feel as though they are wronged, and the system and the people and the law is unjust and so is the discipline, if you grow that in your children you grow that in an adult.
- DISRESPECT IS DISCIPLINED! If your child disrespects you then discipline them again. KEEP IT SIMPLE!
PILLAR 4: RECONCILE
To reconcile means to restore feelings of affection.
It does not mean to beg for forgiveness for having disciplined the child or bribe them into feeling better.
Child training is a daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly, event. It never stops, it only morphs into different things as your children get older.
This means that to reconcile is to encourage them, hug them, smile with them and have them know that you love them.
You do not bribe, beg or have them bargain with you because they may feel wronged.
To reconcile is something done after each discipline, and it is more easily done if you are spending regular time with the child, talking, playing, or simply spending time together, is a way to connect, and have them feel connected to you.
To Reconcile immediately after disciplinary action is to:
It means for young children it is a simple cuddle and smile with them.
For older children 6-12 it is to sit with them and ask if they are okay, listen to them for a moment and hug them.
For teens it is the same, hug them, and end the situation with smiles do not allow a bad attitude to go on.
WHAT RECONCILE IS NOT
Reconciling is not hours long, it is not making up for having been the big bad parent in the situation.
You do not have to prove you love them or make them feel like “you were maybe too harsh” or “maybe I was wrong” in order to get to a place where the child feels okay.
If you start this behaviour you are taking one step forward and 10 backwards!
If you have a child who has a bad attitude all the time over having been disciplined and who stays sour-faced and unhelpful for hours or even days after you took action for bad behaviour then this is wrong!
This is a situation where you need to refer to your standards and don’t back down, discipline again for a bad attitude, and again if they still refuse to change.
It is not bad to force a sulking, sour-faced, and ultimately naive and emotionally selfish child/teen into behaving better.
It’s your job.
They will be married one day and be sharing life with a partner, be working for a boss who isn’t perfect, be raising their own children and be managing their own emotions in what is hopefully a healthy way, and that is taught not luck!
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO TRAIN YOUR CHILDREN?
It’s all up to two things..
- your discipline method
Your consistency is showing up everytime your child disobeys.
This is the most DRAINING aspect of child training.
It is seriously difficult I wont lie but there are ways to remain consistent in everyday life, even when you are tired.
- using the standards cheat sheet, choose 1-2 behaviours to instill in your kids.
- have your children master the behaviour, it takes several days to properly learn and a week or two to have ingrained into their behaviour, if you are consistent.
If you are not consistent even with teaching 1 new behaviour at time, then having your children learn them and obey them daily is going to take a lot longer, and displining them each time will take longer, and have to happen more regularly.
you can see this is why putting in the hard yards, and taking 3 days to really hit a behaviour hard, is worth it, the child learns quickly, and you can move on the another behaviour if you wish.
the child will learn quicker, if you are always strict with with your follow through, and never allow the behaviour you are working on to happen sometimes, you must displine against the behaviour every time.
While this is up to you, as mentioned earlier in the post, it will affect how long it takes not just to learn a new behaviour, but to actually follow through on the discipline itself.
I smack my kids, on the bottom. It is quick, taking no longer than a few seconds.
My children don’t like it and try to avoid it, which means they would rather behave than get a smack.
If you choose to have the child sit in a corner, or go to their room, or remove privileges. you must be sure to do it every time, and you must ensure that your child doesn’t like it.
If you are sending a child to their room to play with toys, or even on a device, then is that really an effective punishment?
Are you promoting avoidance of behaviour over disciplining of behaviour?
And what do you do when you are out of the home?
If threats are as good as you can deliver and are you sure to follow through with them?
Or will leaving the house become a nightmare because your children know you don’t really mean what you say?
So, these are all things to consider, and if you’re interested in learning about my disciplining methods, then subscribe to the email series, and I will tell you all about it!
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