The only people who think teaching or being a parent is an easy job are those that have never done either! These are two of the most important jobs in the world. Unfortunately, they can also be the easiest to make a mess of if we aren't careful. As a teacher of young children, I have found my job to be such a wonderful experience. There have also been times as I grew as a professional when my job also became so unbelievably frustrating when it came to learning good discipline techniques. I have been following a beautiful first year teacher Kristen's blog and her last post before her Spring break motivated me to write this post. She has so much enthusiasm and love for her students that I thought perhaps this post might help..
One of the hardest things a teacher or parent can face is controlling obnoxious behavior. Over the course of my career, I have learned that too much explaining or talking just breeds more misbehavior. I have also found that the more upset or angry I got, the more likely the child is to repeat the unacceptable behavior.
What I use is fairly simple. I learned this technique in a teacher workshop. The workshop was based on the discipline techniques and the book by Dr. Phelan called 1-2-3 Magic. Thanks to Vicki at Frugal Mom Knows Best for helping me remember! (I have taken so many in service workshops, it is hard to keep track of all of them.) When a child misbehaves, I start counting out loud saying the number 1 without any explanation or argument. If the child continues the inappropriate behavior, I say that's 2. My students know that when I get to 3, they go directly to time out.
I am certain some of you parents out there are saying, but what if they won't stay in time out. I would suggest that you put them back in their room and extend the time out by five minutes. If you have to stand there and hold the door, then do so. Another option is to put one of those plastic covers over the handle so that the child is unable to open the door from the inside. Don't argue back and once the time out is served, don't explain or discuss the misbehavior. Just go on enjoying the child acting appropriately! This procedure may seem too easy but I promise you it works. Eventually, I found that I got good control by the time I counted to 2 because the child knows I mean business. Consistency is the key along with no room for argument or emotion. I found that it does not work if I lost my temper or showed emotion. When I talked too much, I found that I took the child's focus off of the need for good behavior. By trying to reason or talk with the child, I switched his or her focus onto the possibility of arguing with me!
Some of you teachers and parents are probably thinking "What about when we are out in public? "Whether you are a teacher on a field trip or a parent in a restaurant, there is always a public restroom or some out of the way spot that you can take the child to. Make him or her serve the time out once you have counted to 3. Whenever you get to 3, the child needs to know the consequence.What you will do is make the child think and take responsibility for their own behavior.