In the last issue, we talked about toddler behavior. For older children’s behavior, problem-solving is now the first go-to discipline tool. Problem-solving is effective for maintaining open communication and understanding development, as well as formulating creative solutions for solving everyday problems of living together as a family. Punishment is ‘me against you.’ Problem-solving is ‘you and I working together against the problem.’ Problem-solving teaches creativity, empathy, communication and accountability.
Effective discipline of young children requires knowledge about the development of children. Normal toddler behavior is often viewed as ‘misbehavior’ by parents who do not understand the physical, cognitive, social and emotional capabilities and limitations of toddlers. Research shows that children under age five comply (‘listen’) to parent requests about 40 per cent of the time. This is normal child behavior for that age, and does not require ‘teaching,’ ‘discipline’ or ‘punishment.’ This normal behavior will change as the child matures.
Sleep-away camp was just what Ally needed in order to gain independence and confidence, marvels her mom, Sharon. “She found a whole new group of girls, and had a ball. She’s had a hard time with girls beginning in Grade 4,” says Sharon, “so it was great for her to bond with girls in a different setting.” Starting at age nine, Ally went away to camp for a week. The following summer, she begged to go back for four weeks. Her parents were delighted.
At 10, Ravit Pearlman is a veteran camper. She started going to overnight camp just before her seventh birthday, and she comes from what her mom, Sacha Reich, enthusiastically describes as a ‘camp family.’ Her dad, Aaron Pearlman, went to the same camp as a boy and later became a counselor there. Asked what she looks forward to at summer camp, Ravit doesn’t hesitate, “Seeing my friends again!” Her eyes sparkle as she eagerly outlines the scene: canoeing, the ropes course, bonding with the counselors, whispering to her cabin mates after dark.
Calgary’s Child Magazine © 2017 Calgary’s Child