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Everyone deals with a child's bad behaviour in different ways, however, it is sometimes worthwhile reviewing how effective your methods are and to have a think about using different techniques to deal with young children (pre-schoolers) that are misbehaving. Here are some points to bear in mind when trying to instill discipline into young children...
1. Voice Match: this is a technique whereby your voice should be at the same volume and tone as you expect from your pre-schooler. A loud and aggressive voice will usually mean the child will try to get louder, so try to be more quiet and less aggressive.
2. Stay calm: try as hard as you can to stay calm even if you are very upset. Staying calm will demonstrate a controlled and orderly message to your child.
3. Keep it close: don't shout across the room, go to your child and address them closely.
4. Move away: once you have made your point and the situation is resolved, move away and don't hover around and carry on the confrontation. And, certainly don't go back over the problem behaviour once you have resolved it.
5. Personal Space: make sure you allow your child some personal space. Our personal space is usually an arms length radius and if you are any further away it's difficult to know who is being addressed, and if you are any closer you run the risk of invading their personal space which can be aggressive. So, stand in front, slightly to the side at about an arm's length.
6. Praise specifics: try to give positive feedback when good behaviour is happening or praise another child who is being good so the child who is not behaving well hears and aspires to get praise too.
7. Avoid engaging in an argument: repeat your instructions up to three times then change your strategy, don't just argue over the same point again and again.
8. Time out: a change of environment can help a child re-focus and come back in a more positive frame of mind. Just a short time away from the group, or the activity may solve any behavioural problems.
Remember, young children may not be as rational as we are, but they still have control over their actions and should be made to understand that poor behaviour won't be accepted.
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