Excerpted from Joan Durrant’s Positive Discipline in Everyday Parenting

Dr. Joan Durrant was the principal researcher and co-author of the Canadian Joint Statement on Physical Punishment of Children and Youth; a member of the Research Advisory Committee of the United Nations Secretary-General’s Study on Violence against Children and a co-editor of Eliminating Corporal Punishment: The Way Forward to Constructive Discipline (UNESCO). 

Her book  positive discipline

2. Babies: 6 to 12 months

In this stage, a major challenge for parents is getting enough sleep! Babies often cry in the night and parents can become exhausted when their sleep is repeatedly broken.latino 6 1year

 

 

 

Imagine this... 

Your 6-month-old baby still wakes up at 4:00 am – every night. You’re tired and you want him to sleep through the night.

Think about what you read above about this developmental stage. Now list as many reasons as you can for your baby’s waking in the night.

Did you include reasons such as: hunger or thirst, 
teething, pain, 
too warm or too cold, wet diaper
, sickness
 fear that you have disappeared, brain organization, 
needing to be cuddled
, needing to be rocked or carried?

If so, you have applied your knowledge of developmental level to figure out why your baby is waking up.

Remember that babies don’t cry to make their parents mad or because they are spoiled. It’s impossible to spoil a baby with too much care and attention.

Babies are like young plants.
They need a great deal of care and attention to grow and thrive.

Now imagine this...

cryingbaby

 

Your baby has begun to make loud sounds. She will suddenly yell, making sounds that no-one can understand. Sometimes this happens in public places or in situations where people are usually quiet.

Think about what you read above about this developmental stage. Now list as many reasons as you can for why your baby is making loud sounds.

Did you include reasons such as:

trying to imitate speech

enjoying her ability to make sounds

experimenting to see what happens when she makes different sounds

practicing the sounds of her language

normal babbling,


the beginnings of speech?

If so, you have applied your knowledge of developmental level to figure out why your baby sometimes yells.

Your baby isn’t yelling to embarrass you or to make you mad. She is excited about her discovery of sound. She loves to experiment and discover new sounds that she can make. Her sounds – even the loud ones – are a sign of her development.

 

2. Problem Solving:

6 -12 months

At this age, babies usually are crying less and smiling more.

When they cry, it might be because they are afraid that you are gone. A baby of this age will notice that you have left the room, but will not yet understand that you will come back.

This can be very frightening for a baby. He can feel completely helpless.

One of your most important tasks during this stage is to build your baby’s trust in you. He needs to know that you are always close by.

Babies of this age also might cry because they are getting teeth. Teething can cause a lot of pain, but the baby can’t yet tell you that it hurts.

Another reason for crying at this stage is illness. Without language, your baby can’t tell you when he feels sick.

Babies don’t know how to tell you that they have a fever, headache, stomachache, sore throat, or nausea. They only can cry.

Another reason babies cry is that their brains are becoming “organized”.

It is normal for babies to cry at the same time each night. This is a sign that their bodies and brains are developing a rhythm. Crying is part of this process.

But your baby doesn’t understand what is happening to him. It helps him to know that you are near when he is overcome by the feelings that accompany crying.

Children have a right to care and guidance appropriate to their developmental capacities.
Article 5 UN Convention on the Rights of the Child

One of the most exciting things that happens in this stage is that babies begin to speak. First, they babble. They might make sounds like “ba” or “da” or “ma”.

Babies learn the sounds of their native language when their parents respond to their babbling. When your baby says “ba”, you can say “ba ba ba” back to her.

When you respond to your baby’s babbling, she learns that “ba” is an important sound and she gets practice saying it. Soon that sound will grow into a word.

She also learns that when she speaks, you will listen and respond.

Responding to your baby’s babbling and first words encourages one of the most important building blocks of your relationship – communication.

At this early stage, you can help your child learn how to express feelings. You can also show her that you will listen to what she has to say and that you will respect her attempts to communicate with you. 

 

RESPONDING WITH POSITIVE DISCIPLINE

6 to 12 months

The situation

Your 10-week-old baby has been crying for 30 minutes.

What should you do? Let’s think about each of the following responses and decide which one is best – and why.

1. Spank him to teach him not to cry at night.

2. Ignore him so that he doesn’t become spoiled.

3. Try feeding him, changing him, rocking him, singing to him, cuddling him.

 

 

Step 1 – Remember your long-term goals

What are some of your long-term goals that are relevant to this situation?

Check off each response that would lead you toward your long-term goal.

1. Slapping


2. Ignoring


3. Feeding,changing,rocking,singing,cuddling

 

 

Step 2 – Focus on warmth

Compare each response with what we know about providing warmth. For each response, check off whether it would provide:

emotional security

show unconditional love


show affection


respect his developmental level

show sensitivity to his needs

show empathy with his feelings

It’s important to remember that babies don’t need or benefit from structure. They don’t yet have the language or reasoning abilities that they need to understand expectations, rules or explanations.

 

Step 3 – Consider how your child thinks and feels

Why do babies of this age cry?

 

Step 4 – Problem solving

Now let’s compare each response with what we know about the developmental level of your baby. Check off each response that would respect your baby’s developmental level.

1. Slapping


2. Ignoring


3. Feeding, changing, rocking, singing, cuddling

 

Step 5 – Responding with positive discipline

Now that you have thought about your long-term goal, ways of providing warmth, and your baby’s developmental level, which response would you choose?

If you chose #3, congratulations!

Children have a right to protection from all forms of physical violence.
Article 19 UN Convention on the Rights of the Child

A note on babies’ crying

Parents can get very tired caring for babies. Sometimes they might feel like shaking or hitting the baby when he doesn’t stop crying.

Shaking or hitting your baby will not stop the crying, but it might:

make him afraid of you
injure him with bruises or even broken bones damage his brain
kill him
Babies’ bodies and brains are very fragile.

Never shake or hit a baby.

If your baby can’t stop crying, he needs to know that you are there. He needs to be held and comforted. You can’t spoil a baby.

But you won’t always be able to calm your baby.

If you find that you are very tired or stressed, be sure to ask for help from your family, friends, doctor, or other resources in your community.

The situation

Your baby has begun to make loud sounds. She will suddenly yell, making sounds that no-one can understand. You are in a café having lunch and you are just about to feed her when she lets out a loud yell.

What should you do?

Think through each of the following responses to decide which one is best – and why.

1. Tell her that she can’t have any food because she yelled.

2. Slap her to teach her not to yell.


3. Speak softly to her to calm her and distract her with a toy.

 

Step 1 – Remember your long-term goals

What are some of your long-term goals that are relevant to this situation?

Check off each response that would lead you toward your long-term goal.

1. Telling her she can’t have any food

2. Slapping her


3. Speaking softly and distracting her

 

Step 2 – Focus on warmth

Compare each response with what you know about providing warmth. For each response check off whether it would provide:

emotional latino 6 1yearsecurity

show unconditional love


show affection


respect her developmental level

show sensitivity to her needs

show empathy with her feelings

It’s important to remember that babies don’t need or benefit from structure. They don’t yet have the language or reasoning abilities that they need to understand expectations, rules or explanations.

 

Step 3 – Consider how your child thinks and feels

Why do babies of this age yell?

 

Step 4 – Problem solving

Now let’s compare each response with what we know about the developmental level of your baby. Check off each response that would respect your baby’s developmental level.

1. Telling her that she can’t have any food

2. Slapping her


3. Speaking softly and distracting her

 

Step 5 – Responding with positive discipline

Now that you have thought about your long-term goal, ways of providing warmth, and your baby’s developmental level, which response would you choose?

If you chose #3, well done!

Children have a right to the highest attainable standard of health and to adequate nutritious food.
Article 24 UN Convention on the Rights of the Child

A note on parents’ moods

Your mood is a major factor in both your child’s behaviour and your response to it. If you are feeling tired, stressed, worried or angry about something, you are more likely to get angry with your child. Sometimes parents find themselves taking out their frustrations on their children.

When parents’ moods are unpredictable, children feel insecure and anxious.

When parents ignore a behaviour one day, but get angry for the same behaviour another day, children feel confused.

When parents get angry at children because they are worried about other things, children feel resentful for being treated unfairly.

When parents are often angry or in bad moods, children feel threatened and afraid.

Parents’ moods affect children’s behaviour. It is important for parents to be aware of their own moods. They need to avoid taking their own moods out on their children.

It is important for parents to get enough sleep and to eat lots of nutritious food so that they have the energy to cope with all of life’s stresses.

If you find that you are frequently angry, sad, worried or stressed, you should talk to your doctor, a public health nurse, a counselor or a supportive friend or family member. It is important to solve your problems in a constructive way that does not harm your children. 

 

Our Mission

The MISSION of the Action Team to End Hitting Children is to gather many people to do small jobs for the purpose of diminishing and finally ending the hitting of children. By "htiting" we mean to include beating, spanking, slapping, shaking, popping, and any other form of physical or emotional punishment that demeans the child and creates emotional, mental, and physical harm. Our strategy is to use many people to do small amounts of work that create momentum to make a difference. 

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