When dealing with a disruptive child or student, many parents and teachers use rewards or punishments as a way to discipline the youngster. While this approach might give some short term results, it doesn’t help the child develop long-term self-discipline skills.
Rather than use rewards or punishments, try one of these three strategies to redirect youth. They are more effective discipline techniques and encourage responsibility.
- Acknowledge On-Task Behavior: Acknowledge in private when the student is on task. Do not be concerned about interrupting the student at work; the student will let you know if it is bothersome.
- Encourage: Encourage students. It raises their aspirations. Robert Danzig rose from office boy to president of his company because Margaret Mahoney, his office manager, said to him, “You are full of promise.” That comment prompted him to begin seeing possibilities and generated his rise from sweeping floors to becoming the president of the Hearst Newspaper Corporation. Equally important is that a word of encouragement during a failure is worth more than a whole book of praise after a success. When a student has not been successful, ask, “What can we learn from this experience?”
- Progress is Power: Progress is measured by improvement in oneself, not in comparison to others. Periodically, find some improvement that the youngster has made and acknowledge it. Success breeds further success.