Raising Little Miss Manners

Bringing up a child isn’t easy. Your heart might swell with pride when your tot charms everyone with his/her cherubic smile, but when the page turns to reveal temper tantrums, non-stop whining and day-long sulking, you often need to call upon infinite reserves of patience.
 
Experts say these periods are the real test of parenting. They call for what is known in parenting parlance as positive disciplining— helping your child learn valuable social and life skills without resorting to yelling, spanking or withdrawal of privileges. Here are answers to some common disciplining challenges parents face.

HYPERACTIVITY
At four, Prithvi is not only very naughty and stubborn, but also destructive. He wakes up at midnight and demands a particular brand of biscuit. He won’t take no for an answer and brings the roof down if refused. Surprisingly, he behaves well in front of guests and is shy at school. At home, he doesn’t think twice before destroying toys.

How to handle
Such children value others’ opinion, which is why they are well-behaved in front of guests, but take their parents for granted. You need to be strict, but spanking is not a solution. Be firm; don’t buy him another toy if he breaks one, but don’t leave him alone. A child understands the value of a product if he realises there won’t be a replacement.

SCHOOLING WOES
Pramod and Sneha can’t understand why their five-year old cries at the very mention of school. Little Karthik showed no enthusiasm, was always in a bad mood and made excuses to avoid school.

How to handle
If a child shows a dislike for school, find out the reason immediately. Also, inform the teachers if your child can’t adjust to school.

TANTRUMS
Paul was out dining with his friends at a five-star restaurant when four-year-old Sara started behaving weirdly. She was bored and angry that she wasn’t getting enough attention from the elders and started rolling on the floor.

How to handle
Right from the beginning, reward good behaviour. Don’t ignore or fail to compliment when (s) he behaves well.

POINTS TO PONDER
Positive disciplining demands that both parents be on the same page. Never spoil the child with gifts and toys to ensure good behaviour. Be a role model for your child. Never argue in front of him or her.

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