Mr Lee, who is also manager and senior counsellor at Touch Family Services, shares three tips from Triple P
1. Give clear instructions
Parents often give lengthy or unclear instructions and assume the child understands what he should be doing.
For example, if a parent sees his child jumping on the bed when it is time for dinner, he may get angry and say, “don’t be silly” or “don’t do that” and walk away, expecting the child to know what to do next.
Instead, the parent should stay calm and say to his child: “Stop jumping on the bed. I want you to go to the dinner table and have your meal now.”
2. Don’t nag
Do not nag when you want your child to start a new task.
For instance, if you want him to stop watching TV or using his mobile phone and have dinner, ask him to do so. You can ask him a second time, in case he missed hearing you the first time.
If he still does not budge, take action. You can say: “Mummy’s not going to nag at you. If you refuse to do what I said, I will turn off the TV or take away your mobile phone.”
Remain calm and take control.
He will protest initially but once he knows that protesting does not work, he will not try it anymore.
3. Be aware of your emotions
Parents need to regulate their emotions. When they are stressed or angry, they should not discipline the child. Mr Lee said he knows a mother who was stressed at work and had problems managing her child. She was constantly calling him names such as cow and buffalo.
Name-calling can affect a child’s behaviour, so she was asked to stop. Instead, she should stay firm and calm while disciplining him.
Parents should also not use vulgarities on their children, no matter how angry they are.
A version of this article first appeared in The Straits Times
Triple P is also available at the Chinese Development Assistance Council, Mendaki and the Singapore Indian Development Association and elsewhere. For details, go to www.triplep-parenting.net/glo-en/find-help/find-a-provider/
(Photos: The Straits Times and 123RF.com)