If you’ve followed my blog for any length of time, you may be wondering why I haven’t discussed discipline or correction ideas. Until now, most of my posts have been about the theoretical fundamentals that make up the Ezzo parenting series.
So why has it taken me so long to discuss discipline and correction methods? Well, aside from the fact that I don’t post as often as I’d like to, true followers of the Ezzo principles must have the basics under their belts before they can correct their children in good conscience.
Train yourself first
If you are new to the Ezzos or are starting with older children, you may have skipped straight to the discipline chapters in the books. I know I did! I felt like I needed to get my son’s behaviors in line and I needed to do it ASAP. I figured all the rest could wait until later.
But it doesn’t work that way. If you believe in the Ezzos’ teachings, you must work on yourself first. You need to change your habits. You need to change your perception of your child’s misbehaviors. You need to formulate a plan.
Prevention is key
You may have clued into the fact that the Ezzo principles are all about prevention. All of the work you put into your parenting and your marriage will prevent misbehavior from your child. Before learning about the Ezzos, our life looked something like this: 80% frustration, 15% discipline (mostly in the form of yelling, threatening and repeating) and 5% prevention. Today, it looks like this: 90% prevention, 9% discipline and 1% frustration. (I think even the most perfect parents get frustrated with their children at some point.)
To recap my earlier posts, here is how you go about preventing misbehavior:
- Put your marriage first. Do couch time, go out on dates, and make time for yourselves.
- Make sure your child knows he is not the center of the universe. See my posts on child-centered parenting.
- Create and follow a schedule. Do this even if your child is in school six hours a day.
- Do non-conflict training. Make sure your child knows what is expected of him and don’t confuse him. Say what you mean and mean what you say.
- Don’t repeat yourself. Don’t allow yourself to become a threatening, repeating parent. It happens to the best of us, so make a conscious effort to avoid it.
- Make sure you have your child’s attention when you are talking and especially when you are giving an instruction. Getting eye contact and having him say “yes, mommy” are crucial.
- And most of all, love, encourage and praise your child.
Follow the tags on the right or do a search to review my posts on these principles.