Thursday, May 10, 2012

Guest Post: Disciplining someone else’s child

Disciplining  is never a fun task, especially when the child you are disciplining is not your own. There may come a time where you have to help a friend or relative out by looking after their children. It may be for an hour or for a week, and as much as we hope they are perfect little angels, chances there will be a moment when you may need to discipline.

Before looking after anyone's children, ensure that you have discussed discipline with their parents.  It's vital to know what their approach is and to ensure that you work together in dealing with behavioural issues. 

Here are a few ways of managing an unruly or disobedient child:

Verbal: When a child acts up and has done something wrong, talk to them. Get down to their level (you may have to bend your knees to do so) and find out the cause of the behaviour.  Asking why, will help you understand their intentions. Often discipline issues can also be a need for attention, that they do not know how to express in any other way. Make sure the child understands that this kind of behaviour is not acceptable.  Your tone should be firm but gentle. Do not raise your voice or talk down to them.

Time out: Sometimes verbal communication doesn’t always work. Another technique would be to take the child aside for a time out. Explain to them what time out is and why they are having a time out. Choose an area of your home that is quiet and without distractions. Time out is a chance for them to calm down and reflect. This only takes a few moments; no need to keep them there for more than 5 minutes.

Take away: This technique will probably cause some tears. Children do not react well when privileges are taken away from them. Take away toys, games or television privileges.  How long you do this for is based on age and severity of the misbehaviour.  Once you feel that they understand what they did was wrong and made the necessary behavioural adjustments, then reinstate those privileges.

Report it: It is not typical to report misbehavior to the parents unless it is something that you feel is absolutely necessary. However, telling a child that you have no problem reporting their behavior to their parents may motivate them to listen. Children want to please their parents and sometimes just the thought of you mentioning this to them, is enough motivation to stop with the offending behaviour.

Always be kind and gentle. Being away from parents, can be a difficult thing to adjust to. Be patient, address the situation and be firm.

About The Author:
Jenny Ellis is a freelance writer, and a regular contributor for aupair care. She welcomes your

What do you think?  How do you cope with play dates when the child who is visiting is misbehaving?

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