Recently I’ve had the chance to talk to the discipline master of a famous International School in Indonesia. We both agreed that certain teachers (and parents) do not seem to be getting the level of respect they deserved in the classroom (or at home, for the case of parents).
Isn’t it true though? We see certain parents struggling to control their children all the time, they never seem to be able to catch a break. On the other hand, certain parents seem to be having the time of their lives, joking with their children and enjoying absolute adoration. At the same time, however, they seem to be always in control of any given situation, commanding the respect and obedience of their children.
Hi, my name is Teacher Kean from Teaching Worthy and I’m a licensed headmaster with the Ministry of Education as well as a HRDF Certified Trainer. My job is to help parents become better parents. Today, I am going to discuss 2 things you can do immediately to regain the respect and obedience of your children.
Throughout my career in education, I’ve had the wonderful honour of observing great teachers and parents at work. One undeniable lesson I’ve learnt is that great parents always expect 100% compliance from their children 100% of the time. This sends a strong signal to our children that we are not willing to put up with anything less than 100% compliance. CONSISTENCY is the key in developing respect from our children.
So, why is 100% compliance so important? Let me give you an example. Say, it has been a long-established rule in our house that bedtime is at 10pm. At 9.45pm, our son, Ivan, pleads and whines for another 25 minutes on his mobile device. Now I get it. Many parents may be tired after a long day at work, and they themselves require a bit more of me-time. So they may start to think “what’s the harm in another 5 minutes?”.
See here’s the problem, when we do not insist on 100%, and when we accept 90%, it is only a matter of time before we start to accept 80%, and then 70%. It is the classical problem and dangers of a slippery slope. Now, by nature, our children love to test boundaries and they will take note when we are not consistent in our expectations. This is why certain school teachers rapidly lose control and obedience in their classroom. It is because they themselves do not consistently enforce the rules they themselves have established.
The secret in insisting on 100% compliance really lies in early intervention. Great parents know how to catch and stop negative behaviour even before they happen. Now, if we often find ourselves ANGRY when disciplining our children, it probably means that we waited too long to stop that negative behaviour.
This means that we have to correct early and often. But this does not mean we become nagging parents. We can aim to make our corrections fast, positive, confident, and as invisible as possible. Here’s an example. Using the scenario above, we can tell our son Ivan: “Ivan, it is already 9.45pm. You have to keep away your mobile device now and go brush your teeth. This will help you have a happy and great day at school tomorrow.” See, in this situation, we did not even need to stop any negative behaviour because Ivan did not have the chance to perform it in the first place.
The second thing which great parents and teachers practise is that they do not believe in giving warnings after their children have already broken established rules or boundaries.
Now it’s only natural that our children are constantly testing limits. Giving your children warnings or second chances only encourages them to test how much negative behaviour they can get away with. We need to show our children that we are reliable in giving punishments consistently – do not wait until you are angry and overreact!
So what’s the difference between reminders and warnings? Now warnings are given AFTER a rule has been broken, and this is what we are really trying to avoid. Reminders on the other hand are early interventions to remind our children to behave positively even BEFORE problems start.
Here’s the thing: a rule, once broken, is broken. Punishments shouldn’t come as a result of a rule being broken multiple times. We can always issue a smaller punishment the first time around but the point is that we MUST issue one instead of being lazy and giving warnings.
Now, reminders should be given with positivity and direction. We have to help our children understand that behaving positively is ultimately for their own benefit and not to gain our favour or approval.
Now, I have far more to share on this topic and I can go on for hours. However, if you feel like you have a specific situation or if you require specific advice, please do not hesitate to contact us at www.teachingworthy.com. Thank you, and please share these lessons which are worth sharing.