Recently, I checked on my comment boxes and realized that I was paid a visit by a writer whose work I have read in SISTERS, but what I had overlooked was I had not approved her first comment because I was lax in checking on this blog. She is none other than Grandma Jeddah, who has generously offered a guest post for this abandoned blog of mine. So, I am honored to present Grandma Jeddah of Discipline Without Disrespecting as a guest blogger with her article:
10 Steps to Parenting Improvement
One of the most common questions I get from mothers is how to control their temper when disciplining. Here is a step-by-step method mothers can use to help avoid unwanted hitting and shouting when disciplining.
- The more you take responsibility for changing your behavior, the greater your success, insha’Allah. To help you take direct control of your new parenting ambitions, get a sheet of notebook paper and write down specifically the change you wish to make. For instance, I want to stop shouting at my son when he misbehaves. I will select an alternative discipline method from my list of shouting alternatives. I will do this for 2 weeks, insha’Allah.
- Make a list of ways you can manage your child’s behavior without shouting. Here are a few options: You can have her go to her room for a time out (the minutes should correspond with her age.) You can discuss with her why what she’s done is improper (perhaps she needs to be taught rather than reprimanded.) You can ask her why she did what she did (maybe there’s a logical explanation.) You can remove a privilege such as computer time, phone time, game time, or a pleasurable outing. You can offer incentives for avoiding the behavior in the future (place stars on a behavior chart when desirable behavior is performed.) Visit parenting websites for more alternatives.
- Next, imagine how you will feel when you begin disciplining with control, and write down those feelings on your sheet of paper: I will feel calm, I will feel patient, I will feel less angry with my child, I will feel less disappointed with myself, I will feel like a better Muslim. . . parent. . . mother, I will feel in control, etc.
- Now, choose a date to begin working on your new parenting improvement program. Start on that day.
- To help yourself stay motivated, view parenting lectures on YouTube, DVD’s, or other media forms. Also, browse parenting websites and blogs such as www.grandmajeddah.com and grandmajeddah.blogspot.com. Read books such as the Discipline without Disrespecting e-book or Drs. Ekram and Mohamed Rida Beshir’s parenting books. A list of other parenting books can be found at the end of this article. You can also listen to Islamic lectures that discuss the manner in which the Prophet (SAW) treated children. Listening to lectures on the importance of being patient can be helpful as well. Another great tip is to watch other mothers who discipline with respect. When you are out and about, observe how respectful mothers manage their children’s behavior–what do they say . . . how do they say it. . . how does the child respond?
- And remember, when you have those slip ups, as you will, bear in mind that you are not perfect. Making mistakes is a failure to be faultless. It doesn’t mean you can’t achieve your goal of becoming a parent that is more in control.
- When you find yourself shouting, instead of calmly correcting your child, think about how out of control and uncomfortable you feel. Tell yourself that you want to feel in control, calm, patient and all the other feelings you wrote down on your paper at the beginning of starting your new parenting program.
- Consciously be on the lookout for disciplining situations. When you encounter one, follow these three tips:
- Say, “Authu billahi min ashaitan ir-rajeem. (I seek refuge in Allah from Shaitan.)
- Follow through with an alternative action from your list.
- Never give up! Attempt to follow your parenting goal most of the time, and you’ll see improvement, insha’Allah. Soon, you’ll find disciplining with calmness and without hitting, shouting or losing control your normal practice, Insha’Allah.
- Lastly, keep a record of your successes. Each day you manage your child’s behavior in a respectful manner, without hitting, shouting, or losing control, draw a star on a sheet of paper. When you get 10 stars, reward yourself with a treat. Check out a novel from the library, watch a documentary on the computer, order pizza and give yourself a break from cooking dinner for the day, use paper plates and cups and plastic forks and spoons for a day or two so you don’t have to wash dishes. Buy yourself a nice pair of earrings or dress apparel that you like. Make a list of incentives with which you can reward yourself when you reach your number goal. Once you reach 10 stars, try for another 10 until the new discipline methods become a natural part of your parenting.
Take pleasure in knowing that you are making an effort to improve your disciplining methods with your child. This positive change will help you achieve better child behavior, an improved relationship with your child, and help you feel better about yourself when disciplining. So find a notebook, tear out a sheet of paper, and start on your new parenting improvement program today!
Here is a brief list of parenting e-books, websites and blogs:
Discipline without Disrespecting by Grandma Jeddah
Parenting in the West by Drs. Ekram and Mohamed Rida Beshir’s
Nurturing Eeman in Children by Aisha Hamdan Utz
How to Talk so Kids Will Listen by Faber and Mazlish
For more tips on How to discipline your child without hitting, shouting or losing control, subscribe to Grandma Jeddah’s free newsletter at www.grandmajeddah.com.
To add to the list of websites and blogs: