The key is to have a good relationship with the child, because then almost any type of discipline will work.
Contrarily, if you have a bad relationship, you’ll find almost nothing works. If you are dealing with a difficult child, your relationship almost always suffers, and parents of difficult children often feel guilt and frustration because the initiatives they try, never seem to work.
Repairing the relationship has to come first, before you can affect any change. My suggestion is to take an inventory of how you interact with your child by listing five of the best characteristics you exhibit. Interestingly, if you use this barometer, it may help you come to terms on where you fall short. In order to do this, think about the worst boss / supervisor you’ve ever had and realize that as a parent, you are the child’s supervisor. Ask yourself if your behavior fits into the good boss category or the “bad” boss.
Dr. Daniel G. Amen in his instruction manual entitled, New Skills for Frazzled Parents, gives a suggested list for the category of the good boss / supervisor. See if you identify with some or all of these qualities.
2- Takes Time to Teach
3- Leads by Example
4- Positive Attitude
5- Expects You’ll do Well
6- You Feel You Can Talk to Him / Her Without Being Ridiculed
7- Communicates Reasonable Expectations
8- Is Honest, Predictable, Fair, Patient
9- Admits Mistakes
10- Allows for Privacy and Space
Okay – if you’ve answered “Yes” to the majority of these important characteristics, you are well on your way to having a beneficial relationship with your child. Next week, the “BAD” Supervisor – where failure in relationships could be a sure thing!