How to Behave So Your Preschooler Will, Too!
by Sal Severe, Ph. D.
A few things I found helpful:
- Kids during this preschool period start to learn cause and effect, really understanding that they can control things.
- Language is key to helping kids learn their environment and cause and effect.
- Teaching kids to use their words helps them navigate social situations, avoid conflicts with peers and siblings, etc. (page 22)
- When kids whine, remind them that you cannot understand what they are saying, so use their big kid words and you'r happy to help them. Then lead by example, give them an example of a phrase they could use in a big kid voice. (page 22)
- "Parents often forget that when young children are upset or angry, they are experiencing strong emotions that create a lot of internal mental 'noise.' Children are not good listeners when they are upset." (page 22) Use small words, not long phrases or sentences when disciplining or talking to them while upset.
- "If your child fails to complete all of these directions, it is not because she is not listening, it is because there are too many things for her to remember. Give young children one instruction at a time." (page 27)
- Preschooler's understanding of the world is "very basic," page 27. If you say to "clean your room," he might understand the concept but not exactly how to do it. Helping them on their level works.
- "The purpose of discipline is to teach children to make good decisions about their own behavior. " (page 33)
- For energetic kids, do not confine them to a quiet space in their room, that makes them more frustrated. Instead, channel his energy throughout the day, build in routine physical activity time. "Being filled with energy is not misbehaving." (page 41)
- The author encourages you to really understand your child's temperament, personality, etc. and find solutions to working with him that correspond to the temperament. "I have found that children who are bright, verbal and stubborn may be the most difficult to manage. I refer to these children as attorneys-in-progress. They love to argue their point. They always have a better reason than you why they should or should not do something. ... these children have been referred to as 'strong-willed.'" (page 41)
Discipline means to teach (page 79). "Discipline is an ongoing teaching process. It is management through guidance. It is a blend of firmness and reasoning and needs to be developmental. You need to consider your preschooler's language, his individual temperament, and the context of the situation. This requires time, tolerance, energy, commitment and on most days, creative thinking. Discipline includes everything we do as parents to understand, teach, guide and nurture our children." (page 79)
- "Preschoolers need discipline as much as they need love and affection. It not only guides their behavior, but also teaches them values, how to think, and how to make choices. Discipline teaches preschoolers how to predict outcomes and the concept of cause and effect. It shows preschoolers that there are limits in our society and rules that we all live by." (page 80)
- You need to be consistent, mean what you say and follow through in order to have self-disciplined children. (page 108)
- Preschoolers are always trying to test the boundary, to learn the cause and effect, to find out what will be the same. You help them navigate this and behave better ultimately by being consistent.
- Use positive feedback when you see something your child is doing right.
- Use checklists with kids to teach them how to do things in an order, like getting dressed in the morning. This is a good way to teach responsibilities. (page 136)