Correcting your child can be the most challenging thing you do. Luckily, experts say “connection before correction” is a discipline game-changer.
Picture this: It’s been a long hard day, but you’re finally home. You walk in the door and drop your bag in the middle of the floor, kick off your shoes, and head to the kitchen to find some food. As you’re walking, you hear your partner say in a stern voice: “Stop right there. Pick up your bag and put your shoes away before you do anything else. You know better.”
How would you feel? It’s probably safe to say that at best, your partner’s demands wouldn’t make you feel any better. Or worse—well, let’s just say things might escalate.
The same goes for kids! When they’re in the middle of big feelings and are met with “Stop!” or “don’t,” they will probably have the same response. Instead of jumping in right away and “correcting” their behaviors, try “connecting” with them first.
How to encourage good behavior by connecting with children
Spend special time with children
What could create a greater connection for your child than to know you enjoy spending time with him or her.
Really listen. Stop doing whatever you are doing and give your child your full attention
So simple and effective! Hugs (and any form of physical affection) release oxytocin, a “feel good” neurochemical, into the brain which helps the child calm down and be more receptive
Acknowledge Feelings / Empathize.
Acknowledging feelings can help children learn that feelings are always OK, but how we act on those feelings is not always OK. Empathy also helps children feel understood, which again helps them feel calmer and more receptive.
Say, “I love you”
Start with these three words (spoken in a warm, heartfelt way), and whatever comes next feels softer.