Archive for Message to parents

Behavioural Pattern 5—–Disciplining

Should you discipline  children ?

Children are individuals in their own right. They grow fast during their first five years and are eager to experiment and explore things around them.They learn by observing and imitating .They are small and everything is new to them and so they need our guidance to understand wrong and right.They need to be gently instructed to follow a particular way of behaviour.They need  guidelines to differentiate  right from wrong. They need guidance to learn acceptable social behaviour and build morals and a value system to develop self discipline throughout their lives. This could be defined as disciplining a child.

Believe me, children like to be disciplined. Often when things become too much for them to handle they get confused and get out of control.It is then that they need our help. We should remember –  we don’t train children….that’s for puppies.We need to give them full attention and caring for their needs. We should be there for them to understand somethings are not correct. Disciplining does not mean punishing or ridiculing a child.He /she needs to be gently explained why an action is not acceptable .

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aPicture 1 : What can happen if you don’t exercise discipline. Patience is the way to make kids understand -it takes time and consistence effort.Needless to say, the reward is phenomenal. Like I always say ,there is no magic formula…you have to test and find out what works best for you in different situations.

Some ways that can be used to discipline :-

  1. At all times we should be aware of the child’s needs and pay attention to them.Remember the child is experiencing new things,many times things for the first time – we have to help them to make choices , eg : How to use a book ,to put away things like .toys and not to destroy them……..
  2. Limits can be set on what is acceptable behaviour and should be followed not to confuse the child.One must be gentle yet firm at all times: – eg. Eating food sitting in one place….cleaning up after play….. TV watching only at a given time….
  3. Never ridicule a child in front of others.This can lower his / her self esteem and sometimes kids may react, and turn out to be more aggressive and bold to hide their embarassment.
  4. Don’t give into tantrums .If you do, kids will know how to get what they want at all times .
  5. Be gentle yet firm telling them you mean business.Try to use encouraging words .
  6. Last but not the least ,  set an example. like don’t waste food….. sit and eat ,chew your food…clean up….

dis1      dis2

Don’t respond to tantrums …….reason out—-

For a more effective way to discipline children ,they  must understand that if an action  is not acceptable , they will have to face the outcome 0r the  consequences.

Natural Cnsequences:- The child learns by his own deeds. He /she will have to be monitored –or else the child could get a ” I don’t care “attitude.some examples :- Forgetting lunch box …goes hungry so he /she will remember to take his tiffin.

Sleeps till late…. misses school bus..

Leaves or destroys his toys…. won’t have toys to play…

Here the child may be too young so he has to be reasoned with.

Logical Consequences :- The child is explained  that every time he does an action which not acceptable –  he will have to face the result….example

Wasting food….. no favourite dish next time………Toys not put away ……cannot go out to play with friends……

Other ways of disciplining :-

Distracting the child from the activity eg…If he /she is standing  on his /her toys one can give  balls  to throw  and so engage the child in another activity…….If the child is throwing a tantrum one can  start singing a fun song….”5 liitle monkeys”…..

it is important to remember that children get easily distracted so instead of yelling or scolding ,one can change the focus to another activity.

Instead of always being negative with no and don’t –we can  say ‘lets see if this works ” in a voice that the child feels confident about.

It is important to remember that everything that happens to a child from the time he is born leaves an impression on him /her.Every experience plays a part in forming the child’s character.As adults it is  our duty to guide the child and discipline him /her so that he /she grows up with a good value system.

One has to find a way that suits one and is most effective.

Punishing is a NO, NO

Reward is nice but should not become a habit or the child will do things only for the reward.


Behaviour Pattern 4

Biting and Hitting

Biting and hitting is heard of  many times in the kindergarten and the tots who do that are labelled as ‘An aggressive child.’

biting          biting2


Biting and Hitting  is very common with two year olds. Why do they bite :-

1 . It is a baby way of getting what they want. They could bite to get a toy they want.

2 . They could bite or hit in retaliation for being hurt.

3 . If the kids are still cutting teeth the biting could be a physical or a psychological urge. We often hear our elders say -‘Oh he\she is teething ,their gums must be scratching .Don’t worry too much.”

4 . Sometimes tots want to express their feeling and needs and don’t know how to do that and hence the hitting and biting.

5 . Tots learn quickly -as soon as they realise that by biting and hitting their needs can be easily satisfied they will tend to use this tool for a win win situation.

6 . The kid could be just trying to defend his turf.

If your tot tends to hit or bite please don’t blame yourself. Remember it does not mean your tot will grow up to be a bully.This behaviour need not be labelled as’ Bad Behaviour ‘. It is a part of growing up and needs to be handled with care.

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How can we deal with  hitting and biting :-

1 . Toddlers are not mature enough to understand reasoning so don’t  sit and ask “How would you like it if someone hits / bites you .” Toddlers can’t put themselves in another child’s place and reason.

2 . They can understand consequences- so don’t wait ,if he/she hits or bites take the child aside and tell him/her its wrong to hit anyone and if it happens again you can tell him/her that they can’t play with their friends.

3 . Try to find out the trigger point that makes the toddler aggressive -may be hunger or too much noise or crowd or maybe just a habit to get what is wanted.

4 . Praise the toddler when he is not aggressive and is sharing and caring.

5 . Sometimes they need a little cuddle. If the child is not settling then put him in your lap with face away from you. Tell him once he quietens he can go- and wait. Don’t forget the praise once he relaxes.

6 . A game of deep breathing and yoga can be played if things are a little unsettled.

7 . Be a role model – use the magic words sorry, please and thank you.Don’t force the child to use them – they will learn listening to you.

8 . If aggression continues it would be a good idea to talk to the parents and together you can solve the problem.

9 . Always be positive and work patiently -don’t give up – try different things.

Like I have mentioned earlier there is no magic method in bringing up children.

Have faith in yourself. You are doing a good job. Don’t forget to share and take advice from friends.

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What is self esteem ? Well it is the way  we feel and think about ourselves. It is a feel good factor and it helps shape up our lives at all stages.

I read a lovely poem which says very simply what we should make kids feel.

Be happy with what they have and say -” I am proud to be me.”

I Am Special

Hands to help with,eyes to see,

I’m so happy with all of me.

Ears to hear with ,and feet so free,

I’m so happy with all of me.

Nose to smell with,legs to climb a tree,

I’m so happy with all of me.

I am growing big as you can see,

I’m very happy with all of me.

( A.C. Educational Research Team…….Frank Bros.&Co. )boygirl

Kids go through different stages as they grow and their self esteem has phases of ups and downs.

Toddlers :- They like to explore and feel . They tend to show self -confidence.We need to let them be , while having a watchful eye just to make sure all is well. Let them feel and learn , making sure the environment is child friendly.Avoid the word DON’T as far as possible.We may break their confidence.

toddler         toddler1

todder3  toddler2


School Age Children :- School kids are learning to do things on their own.They may sometimes become unsure ,we need to encourage them to keep trying and help their self esteem to grow. Push gently and help them to achieve the task .Be a patient guide.

kids unsure      kids unsure3

As kids grow they feel the challenge of independence.Their look matters to them and peer acceptance becomes important. A guiding gentle hand will always help.Children should always feel secure and wanted.

High self esteem :-The child usually feel –

secure, loved ,willing to try new things and feels capable and responsible.

hish esteem


Low Self Esteem :- The child usually feels –

Helpless, unloved and insecure,afraid to try new things and fears others.sometimes he /she is a loner.

low         low1


low2 kids unsure

kids unsure3


What can we as parents ,teachers and guides do to help our children have a high self esteem :-

1. Love is the biggest thing to shower on kids. Show them you are happy and proud of them for all they do – even if they are not the best.- We should not assume they know that we love them.We should show our love every day, hug them make them feel accepted and secure , come what may.

2. We should praise and encourage them – but be careful not to overdo.- Show appreciation sincerely ,be specific .Do not hesitate to tell them how to improve. Kids like that and work towards that. Our comments must not be critical but supportive and constructive.

3.  Encourage them to be responsible at home with friends and  everything around. This will make them feel capable of managing situations. Children like discipline.

4.  Respect your child. Listen and communicate with them showing keen interest, sometimes spending time with them alone. Respect their point of view and don’t be too judgemental.

5.  Teach them sound values of honesty,hard work, caring,respecting and most of all to be grateful for all they have. This will make them  happy and satisfied .

Spend  quality time with your child.They need your love , guidance and patience to grow into confident,happy and good human beings.

Another few lines to remember :-

I am beautiful and wonderful,

I am happy with all of me.

I am special, there is no one around  just like me.

I thank You God for making me.

( A.C. educational Research Team.     Frank Bros.&Co.)


Kids , you can feel low or sad sometimes – it is absolutely normal.Mums and Dads please don’t analyse every action of your child. It is good to realise your kids too need a little space however big or small they may be.

Parents,you are the single greatest influence on your child’s self esteem.

Pearls of Wisdom :-

Love without condition.

Do not be judgemental.

Learn to communicate to have good relationships.





Behaviour Pattern 3

Telling falsehoods -Lying

lie1 Telling falsehoods or lying is also a normal part of growing up. It is not a moral issue and if not handled delicately and with patience it could become a habit.Children are smart and can understand so it is important to help them appreciate and understand the value of truth. Stories always help – Here’s one we have all enjoyed listening to when we were kids -we also learnt about not telling lies :-

boy and sheep

Ofcourse like I have mentioned there is no magic method that can help you bringing up your kids without facing difficult situations -“falsehoods” being one .Love and patience is your best tool.

A little note on why children lie and some dos and don’ts:-


Young children are often confused about facts.They are full of curiosity and like to listen to adult talk. Sometimes they like to participate in adult conversations ( if encouraged by them.) making themselves there in situations being talked about.- making up large tales.

Children when very young don’t know the difference between the real and unreal.

.  They like to rehearse or retell a story they have heard….”I have a red noddy car…..

.  To avoid punishment they smartly make up tales.

.  If parents are too strict children learn to be untrue   because they are scared of the outcome or they may make up and say things which they think would please their parents.-Untrue stories-

.  Too many don’ts and restrictions may make the child do wrong things and then make up tales to get away.

.  Sometimes they just like to repeat adult conversations they have heard making  themselves in that situation -” Oh today I handled a huge elephant.”

.  To get attention of their teacher they may tell untrue things -” I Have a horse at home.” It could become a habit -so just avoid with a smile.

.  Many a times they like to do exactly like their friends -” I too am going to America.”

.  Untrue statements sometimes makes kids feel they may be looked up to.

Telling falsehoods are childish misdeeds.Children are innocent and if one questions them gently they will be honest. We should never ridicule them in front of other kids.Always correct them and explain why it is not nice to tell untrue tales.

We as adults/parents should handle such situations with maturity and patience.Be strict yet gentle.

lie1  Speak to the child when he/ she is alone telling him /her you won’t punish if tells the truth.Try to find out why he/she was not honest ,that will help you to understand  the situation  and so handle it the correct way.

lie2  You can make the situation a little fun and pass your message of being truthful.

lie ” Who stole the cookie?” Explain to the child that if he/she asks for something is always nicer than taking something quietly and then when questioned to lie .

Words may lie but actions will always tell the truth. So handle gently.Wrong procedures may make the telling of untruths a habit.

Pearl of Wisdom :-

Truth always prevails.

Don’t be scared – Stand up for the truth.


Behaviour Patterns 2

Thumb Sucking

Thumb sucking is a very normal reaction which starts from infancy.It is the most natural reaction of infants.

thumbsuck1          tsuck

There are many reasons why a child sucks his/her thumb.

.  Thumb sucking is the most natural and involuntary reaction of infancy.Babies put everything they hold into their mouth.

.  Children suck their thumbs as it comforts and calms them.

.Sometimes they suck their thumbs because they are tired and bored.

.  Another reason for thumb sucking could be when the child is sick or has been weaned too early.

.  Any challenging situation-  first day at school , new people anything that makes children insecure may be reason for thumb sucking.

When the child is unhappy, thoughtful (while watching TV or listening to a story.) or hungry he /she may thumb suck.

.  Often to sleep they suck their thumbs as they feel secure.

.  Many a time it just becomes a habit.

Remember thumb sucking is a natural habit which usually disappears before or during the nursery years.So mums don’t manic its a part of growing up.


Breaking the thumb sucking habit:-

The first thing I would like to say is don’t worry too much. Be there and care

Here are some dos and don’ts to help you:-

.   Punishing and nagging may not be a good idea as the child may not even realise he/she is doing it. Also if you pressure too much it may intensify the desire to thumb suck.

.   Thumb suckers should be kept busy with their hands.One should see the situation ,and work. Is he/she  scared – then comfort him. Nearing feed time he may suck his thumb so feed him , don’t delay.

.   Try and divert their attention with a new toy or story or change in activity.If you are busy get him/her to help you.

.    Notice when the child is most likely to suck  the thumb and then find a way to make him/her divert their attention. Make them feel secure and comfortable.Try to avoid those situations.

.   Do not tie their hands or thumb. There is no need to analyse every movement of your child . Sometimes just avoiding helps.

.   Very often it just becomes a habit so try to break it- be as creative as you can.

If however the child continues to suck the thumb in school, then consult your doctor.But – Never rush to the doctor.You are the parent you would now best. It would also be a good idea to share your experiences with your friends.- this helps you to realise thumb sucking is common and part of growing up.

I would like to share my experience-

My son used to suck his thumb and naturally I was concerned. One day  at a toy shop I found a cuddly bear  whose thumb we could put in the mouth. I bought it and every  time my son sucked his thumb I would make the bear do the same. This would make him laugh and he would pull out the bears thumb. Before I realised it had become a game . And yes off went the thumb sucking habit.

Its not easy I know -but as parents we just have to find a way to break the habit. Work patiently.

There is no magic formula for bringing up children the right way.We as parents have to guide them to become good human beings.


Try, try, you will succeed.

Share, care and love.

Be patient.

suck               suck1







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