As a parent, do you have moments where you’re pulling your hair out because your kids aren’t listening to you? Disciplining children doesn’t need to be a chore! Instead of yelling or timeouts, you can use engaging games and better communication to teach your children responsibility and to enjoy learning. You don’t need to be strict to enforce good behaviour. Try a few simple tips that you can use to discipline children that will make them listen rather than resent you.
Tip 1: Teach Them How to Share
Do you have problems with your children not wanting to share? Is your day peppered with hearing “Mine!”, followed by “No, it’s mine!”? It’s enough to drive any parent up the wall! It’s a common problem that plagues many families: no matter how many toys you buy, the children struggle to share. Teaching your children the value of sharing at a young age is crucial to developing good behaviour in later life.
Create a lucky dip game of their favourite toys. Place them into a bag and have each child pick out a toy. Whatever they pick is what they have to play with, no complaints allowed or have no toy to play with at all. This lucky dip game makes them learn to be happy with what they get rather than wanting what they can’t have.
Another great way to encourage children to share is with a toy rotation. If your kids are old enough, involve them in the process of creating a fun schedule that shows who plays with each toy each day. Children will learn that if they are patient they will be able to play with other toys and that sharing doesn’t mean they have to lose their toys permanently.
Tip 2: Involve Kids in Cleaning or Tidying
Do you find yourself cleaning up after the kids, in the same areas of your home, day after day? You can help ease housework and mess by teaching your children to tidy up after themselves. You might be thinking that this is easier said than done, but you can try to make cleaning fun so it doesn’t feel like a chore!
Turn cleaning into a race. Give each of your kids a time limit to clean up their toys (vary the time according to their age) and whoever completes the job best within the time frame receives a prize or reward. With a little fun incentive, children will help clean or tidy around the house with more enthusiasm.
You can also create a fun rewards chart for your kids’ rooms with Avery® Printable Merit Stickers. (These stickers can be customised with the words and pictures that will incentivise your children. Use our pre-designed templates in Avery Design & Print Online, or insert a photograph of each of your kids’ favourite character.) A new sticker can be added to the chart every day their room is clean and whoever has collected the most stickers by the end of the week can receive a small reward.
Tip 3: Make Study and Homework More Fun
It’s can be difficult to make children do anything they don’t want to do, and one of the toughest jobs can be making sure children study or finish their homework. (Let’s face it; we know we didn’t want to do it when we were at school, so why should they be any different?) The key is to add something new and different to the homework environment so that your children are excited to learn.
Brighten up study time! Instead of forcing your kids to do homework at a desk, be the cool mum or dad who takes them outside! You can take them to places like the park (just because it’s different), or somewhere like the zoo or aquarium where the subject matter can be of true relevance. You can use Avery Peel & Stick Dry Erase Sheets (which stick to a large range of surfaces) to review information on a wall, on a slide or a door. The more imaginative you are, the better! Your kids will be able to give you some ideas, and encourage them to do so – they’ll think of ideas that you wouldn’t have.
Help them with their study or homework by demonstrating or explaining problems on the Avery Peel & Stick decals. You can write on them, explaining the concept, then erase your notes and allow your children to write on the sheet. You’ll be amazed to see that by changing the work area from pen and paper to a marker and a fun, sticky decal, you'll see a change in your child’s engagement level.
Tip 4: Teach Them to “Freeze”
Many children resist listening to their parents, particularly if they’re trying to demonstrate their independence or make a point with their parents! You can make listening fun from a young age by using a game called “Freeze!”. To play “Freeze!”, play some music and have your children dance to it, stop the music and yell “freeze!”, at which point they have to stop whatever they are doing and stand still until you have spoken. After playing it this a few times, try slowly incorporating the game when they are doing other things around the house. Try playing “Freeze!” when they are having play time or dinner time without the music.
The next step is to use this game when it really counts! When you actually want your children to stop and listen to you, you can yell “freeze!”. Since your kids have associated the word with a game, they are more likely to listen to you. It’s a simple and effective form of teaching children to listen.
Your kids don’t have to think of you as a strict mum or dad. It is possible to inject some fun and different approaches to teaching and disciplining your children while still accomplishing the end goal. Have fun!