crying-2856_1280 main or 1 edited
Time-outs offer parent and child some quiet moments to calm down. (Photo: Pixabay)

1. Is “time-out” or the “naughty stool” a good way to help my child reflect, so they learn from a mistake?

Jasmine: Honestly, I’m not sure. Time-outs work best on very young kids, like toddlers, as they do not like being away from their parents. Can a kid that young ‘reflect’ on bad behaviour during a time-out?  Possibly not. But it does offer parent and child some quiet moments to calm down, and that helps. Your time-out location should be a quiet, boring, safe place. Place the ‘naughty stool’ there. Issue a minute  of time-out for each year of age, so a three-year-old gets three minutes of time-out.

emotion-1465151_1280 2 edited
You don’t always have to turn up the volume to get their attention – a hushed, low, serious tone sends the same message. (Photo: Pixabay)

2. It’s embarrassing to discipline my child in public. Are there any tips?

Shelly: You don’t have to raise your voice. A hushed, low, serious tone sends the same message. In my family, whether we’re out or at home, a tap on the hand and a ‘death stare’ from me is usually enough. When they throw tantrums, I do not bother to distract or negotiate with them as they are too wrapped up in their emotions to hear me. And why reward their bad behaviour? Usually I ignore the drama or take them to a private corner to cool off.

child-594519_1280 3 edited
Parents who don’t give in to tantrums are in fact teaching their kids that tantrums and/or pity parties do not work. (Photo: Pixabay)

3. Unless I give in to his demands in a shop, my preschooler will not calm down. Nothing can stop him from going hysterical.

Shelly: It is hard… but it is important not to give in mid-meltdown. Kids will work out that throwing tantrums will not get them what they want. I have carried my son home from school while he kicked, screamed and hit me all the way. When we arrived home, I put him on the floor and waited 30 minutes for him to calm down. You cannot ‘manage’ all tantrums. Sometimes you just have to wait them out.

anger edited 4
Anger control: are you caning because some light disciplinary action is due, or is this anger mismanaged? (Photo: Pixabay)

4. Older relatives warn me I will spoil my child if I spare the rod. Others say caning a child simply teaches him to use violence.

Jasmine: Caning a child merely makes him obey immediately out of fear, but not because he’s realised his mistake. Having said that, my generation of kids in Asia got the cane, smack, or ruler when we deserved it, and we turned out okay. What really troubles me are parents who spank their kids because they are unable to control their own anger. Sometimes, it is the adults who need a time-out.

sad-219721_1280 5 edited
This discipline technique works best if the privilege relates to the behaviour and it is something the child values. (Photo: Pixabay)

5. My 10-year-old doesn’t react well to a time-out. She stays mad for days and I end up having to take the first step to mend the relationship. What should I do?

Shelly: Time-outs only work on younger kids and toddlers – because they dislike being away from a parent. For older kids, removing privileges works better, like taking away TV time in the evening or not allowing the use of the iPad. This discipline technique works best if the privilege relates to the behaviour and it is something the child values. With this, you can expect her to take the initiative to make good with you instead of the other way around.

6. I often praise my five-year-old for doing something good. Will she get too complacent and expect to be rewarded all the time?

Jasmine: You can motivate good behaviour with reward, but the reward needs to be logically connected to the behaviour. So giving your child chocolate for tidying her room is not as useful as allowing her to watch some TV and relax after she puts her toys away. But the best way is to tell her how proud you are that she’s chosen to be helpful. Tell her, “You’ve put away your toys nicely. You’ve done such a wonderful job keeping your room neat and that helps Mummy too. So thank you!”

(Photo: Giphy)

7. I can’t get him to eat right, they have such extreme food preferences!

“Your kids don’t eat vegetables? You haven’t raised them right!” said a friend. My kids love a food one day, but hate it the next. John ate only peanut butter sandwiches for one week and broccoli the next week. It all works out okay in the end. You have to pick your battles, and some days the food battle is not worth fighting.
– Excerpt taken from I’m Not Perfect. I’m A Mom

(Photo: Giphy)

child-769030_1280 8 edited
At the end of the day, be comforted to know that many other parents are going through the same child rearing issues too. Find friends in similar seasons for the best support. (Photo: Pixabay)

8. Am I the only one going through all these confusing parenting issues?

My children love me so much they sometimes hit me in public. Maybe it was because I tried to force one of them into a high chair they hated, or maybe one of them was having a bad day, or maybe one of them wanted the ball that I had refused to buy… with kids, sometimes who knows why they do it?
– Excerpt taken from I’m Not Perfect. I’m A Mom