HOW TO SEND YOUR KID HAPPILY TO THE SCHOOL
How to Send a Child to Their Bedroom
Sending your child to their room gives both you and them a chance to calm down and sends the message that their behavior was unacceptable. However, what else are you teaching your child by sending them to their room? In each situation that your child becomes upset or misbehaves, take a moment to determine whether to send your child to their room. If you decide to do so, be sure to do so in a way that conveys a constructive message about how they need to act in the future.
Determining Whether to Send a Child to Their Room
Assess the situation.If your child is misbehaving or is acting out in anger, verbally acknowledge that you understand your child is upset, and then ask them what’s wrong. Don’t immediately begin to try to explain why what they’re doing is wrong, as they won’t be able to listen if they’re still upset.
- Listen, then react. If your child has calmed down, they will likely verbalize why they became upset or misbehaved.
- If your child is too angry to speak or continues to misbehave by lying or refusing responsibility for their behavior, tell them that you can talk once they calm down and are ready to tell the truth.
- Your child’s level of emotion will dictate whether or not a time-out is a good idea. Since productive conversation requires that you are both calm, a time-out may be good for both of you.
- Recognize that some scenarios may be remedied without discipline. For instance, if your child is drawing on something they are not supposed to draw on, do not immediately discipline them. Offer them paper, and explain why they cannot draw on furniture or walls, etc. If they comply, they have stopped misbehaving and learned a lesson without discipline.
Calmly state the rule that your child has broken.If your child is still acting up, clearly and calmly state that what they are doing is wrong and that they need to stop. Give them a chance to think about what they’re doing. You may have to repeat yourself several times, especially if the child is very young. Give your child the opportunity to practice learning how to be responsible by giving them a few chances to obey.
Be clear about the potential consequence for their actions.Warn your child that if they continue to misbehave, there will be a consequence. Emphasize, most importantly, that they have the choice to adjust their behavior and avoid the consequence you are warning them about.
- As you warn of a potential consequence, repeat the rule and continue with the warning. For instance, say something like, “Remember that the rule is ________; if you continue to __________, you will have to go to your room.”
- Be specific about the amount of time they’ll be alone. A general rule is a minute per year of the child’s age. (For instance, if your child is three, three minutes is an appropriate amount of time.)
- Be sure to pause a moment and consider the punishment you’re about to warn your child about. Note that sending a child to their room is a significant punishment, as it deprives them of your presence and support.
Do not repeat your warning about a potential punishment.If your child continues to do what you’ve told them not to (even once you’ve warned them that there would be repercussions if they continued to misbehave), you must immediately enforce the rule and levy the punishment.
Send your child to their room.Again, be very clear about what is happening and why it is happening. Be calm, patient, and firm. State the rule again, remind them that you warned them what would happen if they didn’t stop, and that since they chose not to stop that they have to go to their room. Remember to also state the amount of time that they will be alone in their room.
- Aside from stating these things clearly, do not try to have a conversation with your child until they’ve calmed down. (Recall the steps above about talking to your child.)
- Refer to the time out as a chance to calm down.
- Do not shout at your child or otherwise act of anger. This will teach them to act of anger – which is likely what you’re trying to teach them not to do.
Discuss the importance of the rule before letting them return to play.After a time out, reiterate the rule that was broken, why it exists, and that you expect them not to break this rule again. Walk through how to problem-solve a similar situation in the future. Be clear that they can respond differently next time.
- Tell your child a story. Talk to your child only once they’ve calmed down. Stories from your life are the best way to start, as they will interest your child and convey that you understand what they’re going through. This will also help them understand themselves!
- This is also a good time to talk to your child about how time alone in their room can help them. Explain it's not always a bad thing, and it's okay if the child wants to spend time alone to calm down. Say, "If you feel overwhelmed, you can go take a break in your room."
Teaching Children to Control Their Behavior
Model emotional intelligence.Emotional intelligence refers to your ability to identify, regulate, and otherwise manage your emotions.In everyday life, and especially in parenting, you are frequently faced with frustrating moments that may give rise to negative emotions, including anger. Develop and demonstrate your own emotional intelligence by remaining calm and controlling your behavior.
- Take a deep breath. Remind yourself that children are less able to control themselves than adults. (Remind yourself that even some adults struggle to control their anger.) Simply acknowledging the necessity of staying calm will help you do so.
- Control your own behavior. Show your child how to respond to frustrating situations by keeping your own behavior in check. This includes responding to your childrens’ misbehavior calmly. Teach your child to control their anger by remaining calm when you become angry with them! Show them that they can control how they act as well.
Demonstrate empathy.If your child’s poor behavior leads to an opportunity for them to speak with you about how they are feeling, allow the scenario to become a positive learning experience. Support your child by telling them you understand that they are angry. They will feel closer to you and be more open in telling you why they are acting out.
- Allow your child the space to convey the fear or frustration that caused them to act out. This alone will diminish their anger, and it will allow them to recognize that they don’t have to become angry or act out.
Don’t allow your child to hit you.Convey that you are willing to listen when they are ready. If they are attempting to hit you, tell them that is unacceptable, place them calmly in their room (alone), and carefully shut the door. Ignore their tantrum until they calm down unless you think they might accidentally hurt themselves.
- Alternatively, give them a pillow to hit. (This applies to toddlers who may still need to express their anger physically. Don’t encourage hitting, but physical release of anger in appropriate ways is okay for toddlers.)
Don’t over-react.Leave the over-reacting to your child; they’ll do enough of that for the both of you. Remind yourself that children experience extreme emotional fluctuations that they can’t control. When they act out, they’re venting this emotion.If they continue to be upset and refuse to calm down, they might just need to vent. In this case, sending your child to their room might be the right move.
Preventing Future Misbehavior
Distract your child from problematic situations.Provide an alternative activity or environment that gives your child an option to choose a situation that they will better enjoy. Structure environments to prevent frustration. This includes making sure your child is fed and well-rested.
- If your child is being overly physical, they may simply need to move around. If playing inside, bring them outside, where they are more able to run around and expend some energy.
- If your child is treating another child contentiously, or is becoming upset from another child’s behavior, separate them. This may provide a good opportunity to talk about behavior without being accusatory, as you can prevent frustrations from boiling over by separating the children, and then have a conversation on why that sort of behavior frustrates other people.
Allow slight transgressions.Ignore behavior that is only slightly inappropriate, such as relatively quiet whining or complaining. This is the best course of action to decrease whining and complaining in the long term.
- If your child begs for something, but is not screaming or crying, don’t try to shush them. Instead, ignoring them sends a clear message that begging doesn’t work and reduces the likelihood that they will continue to do so.
Recognize that your child knows what they did was wrong.Make repeated misbehavior less likely by sharing how you felt about their behavior with them, and allowing them the chance to come to terms with the emotional turbulence that causes children to misbehave.
- Return to a more detailed conversation about behavior later in the day, perhaps even at bedtime. Your child will be more calm and more contemplative.
- Hold your child during these bedtime discussions. This will make them feel comfortable and reassure them that they have your support.
- Reiterate the reasons for the rules broken or discussed earlier, and ask your child if they have any questions. This will likely lead to productive conversations on all sorts of topics, including how best to treat other people.
QuestionWhat do I do if I'm stuck in my room all week and I'm bored?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerDraw, listen to music, read, dance about, exercise, eat, sleep, watch TV or play on your phone if you're allowed, clean your room, or try on all your clothes.Thanks!
- Don’t associate your child’s bed with punishment. Don’t force your child to sit or lay in bed for a time out. Also, do not send a child to bed early as a punishment. These may cause the child to associate negative feelings with their bed, and potentially make going to be harder.
Video: Before You Send Your Child to Public School...
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