Be consistent with your special needs discipline strategies!
Just when you think you’ve got the ultimate special needs discipline strategies, your child changes. I’m sure that I’m going to write and rewrite many posts about this topic in my life. Disciplining special needs children takes extra effort and care. And it can sometimes feel like you’re doing a bad job. But putting parental feelings of inadequacy aside, special needs kids need special strategies. Here are a few of ours. And I would love to hear some of yours!!
- Try to be positive. Emotions easily run high when homeschooling. Sometimes it feels like there is no escape. But try and frame your words positively. You could say something like: “I know that you can do this task, even if it feels impossible.’
- Take a step back. When feelings run amok, try to give yourself a timeout to cool down. No good comes from shouting and saying mean things.
- Give lots of affection. Special needs kids have to work extra hard to move through this world. Give them lots of hugs and kisses, just because. I believe that there’s no such thing as too much love. And kids need to know that you like them, even if they’re difficult.
- Give them lots of information and warning. A special needs kid might feel a little more secure if they know what’s coming. They can then prepare themselves. The two minute warning works wonders for our kids.
- Reward good behaviour. Positive reinforcement is good for any human. Everybody likes to see that they’re doing well and that they’re working towards a goal. We use a reward chart. You can download two different ones from my resources library.
- Be consistent. I think this is the most important strategy of all. Your child needs to know what is acceptable and what isn’t. If you keep moving the goalposts, they are never going to succeed. Spend the time to decide as parents and then to let the kids know.