Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Alternative to Punishment #4: Offer an Alternative

Alternative to Punishment #4: Offer an Alternative
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One very effective alternative to punishment that helps boost your
child's self-esteem is to offer an alternative. It's important to remember
that your child wants to explore the world, and they need space in
order to do that.

But at the same time you don't want a mess everywhere, so
here's a great way to create a "win-win" situation for you and your

If your toddler is exploring the effects of gravity by pouring milk on the
floor, before you react like the house is on fire, first take a moment.
Evaluate the situation and think about offering your child an alternative.

Water in the sink would be one alternative,
playing outside with the hose would be another.

There's no point in punishing your child with harsh words, which
only fosters low self-esteem. Instead there are many alternatives.

We know that non-reaction can be a real challenge. As parents, we
are usually over-worked and under-rested — so we can often find
ourselves faced with these situations when cleaning up milk off the
floor is the last thing we want to do. I go into this in detail in
my 7 week online program Busy Moms Guide to Awesome Parenting

Let's use some examples of alternatives:

-When your child wants to play ball in the house
and they knock something over. Instead of punishing
or yelling, first cool yourself down and then ask them to go outside.

-When your child wants to climb on the furniture.
Prop some pillows up with an old mattress instead.
Or encourage them to climb in the trees.

-When your child wants to pull on the cat's tail,
see if they want to play tug of war instead.

-When your child starts mushing their food around,
put them at the sink with water and toys.

The thing to remember is that if your child has an idea that
you don't like, they don't need to be reprimanded for it.
Often times their ideas come from a sincere desire to learn and
explore the world. If you punish them for this, you will teach
them to be less confident, less independent, and harm their
natural sense of self-esteem.

By talking to them in a respectful and mature way, you will
not only foster their confidence and self-esteem, but you will
also teach them to talk to you in a respectful and mature way.
Since children model what you do.

By getting upset at them, they feel bad about themselves
and act out later. It becomes a vicious cycle.

An alternative is an excellent way to treat your child with respect
and at the same time allows them to be part of the decision making
process. If one alternative doesn't work for them offer another.

This has happened countless times with our son. I offer
him one thing and he says no, I get frustrated, but keep my cool and
offer him another. Then he happily agrees. He's waiting for
something that's closer to the learning he needs to do.

For example, he's trying to hammer a nail in to the floor,
I offer him some wood and he isn't interested. I then offer
him Styrofoam and he's excited and ready to work.

Try this the next time your child does something you don't want them to:

First, EVALUATE the situation and think of an alternative.
Refrain from getting upset at your child and just offer them something else
right away. Make it clear in your tone of voice, and in a loving manner,
that they need to select an alternative because their present actions aren't
acceptable for you.

Try this out a few times over the next week and notice how your child behaves differently...

To review the Alternatives to Punishment that you've learned so far:
First you learned how to "PREVENT" unecessary stressful events
with your child by taking a few steps in advance.

Next you learned how to "EVALUATE" the situation before you react,
so you can start responding in a way that helps your child dissolve
their undesirable behavior.

The third alternative you learned was to "ASK A QUESTION,"
in order to get a better understanding of your child's behavior.

And this week you learned about "OFFERING AN ALTERNATIVE,"
which allows you to redirect your child, away from actions that
stress you or cause a mess, without harming your child's self-esteem.

Now you can offer them something that allows it to be a win-win for both of you. Conflict free.

Next week you'll discover alternative #5: EXPRESS HOW YOU FEEL

When you get it, you'll find out:

* One surefire technique to elicit your child's cooperation almost every time.
* How to express your feelings without guilt, anger or yelling.
* Why letting your child say "no" can reduce their chances of becoming a juvenile
delinquent by as much as 90%. (learn the correct formula)
* An amazingly simple game you can play with your child that's fun while at
the same time boost their self-esteem in a BIG way.
* How a strong self-esteem helps kids withstand peer pressure.

Here's to your happy child!


Busy Mom Ashley
Busy Moms Guide to Awesome Parenting
An Essential 7 Week Course for Busy Moms!