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Literacy is the key

This last post will be a discussion on the process of child-rearing. After discussing different learning theories, it is evident that these theories can offer some insight into the development of the young child. More importantly, it offers parents guidance into the stages of development their child may be at in their lives and how parents can foster this growth in a positive way. Theorist Lev Vygotsky and Sigmund Freud have theories that are interesting and helpful in understanding children’s behaviours. Research conducted by Smith (2004) found that,

“Discipline is the process of teaching children the values and normative behaviours of their society. It is the guidance of children’s moral, emotional and physical development, enabling them to take responsibility for themselves when they are older. It helps children become aware of the boundaries of what is acceptable and unacceptable behaviour, what is right and wrong, and how to relate to the world around them. Discipline emphasizes teaching and the consequences of actions. Positive discipline normally involves helping children to understand why certain behaviours are unacceptable and other behaviours are acceptable.”

Parents have strong feelings and beliefs about the issue of family discipline, which is why research can be so helpful for

Early Childhood Educators

families. Smith (2004) states that “there are many other factors influencing their parenting.” People who work closely with families, such as early childhood educators, also have their own ideas and values about family discipline. Early childhood educators can offer families help just as learning theories can be helpful to families. They can provide supportive context for parents when they are struggling with teaching their young children the rules about how to interact with the people, places and things in their social and physical worlds (Smith, 2004). Along with learning theorists, teachers and early childhood educators can have a positive impact on children and it is important for families and other adults working with children to know the difference between positive and negative discipline.  I have explained positive discipline but parents can be confused as to whether their methods of discipline are considered negative. For an article on some helpful tips on positive child discipline click here. Smith (2004) describes negative discipline as discipline that “focuses on obedience and the avoidance of punishment. Power assertive disciplinary methods involve application of aversive consequences such as physical punishment, threats or withdrawal of privileges with little justification.” Being aware of the differences in disciplinary methods could help a parent to choose better ways of dealing with behavioural issues with their child or negative behaviours their child might be displaying. Other parents simply just do not realize that they may be choosing negative forms of discipline and that there are better ways of handling their child’s negative behaviours or actions. The importance of early childhood education can be seen in this clip below.

Children meet parents’ needs for closeness, a sense of accomplishment, and maturity in life (Brooks, 2011). Parents are responsible for providing children with the tools they will need to grow and mature into a successful adult and a contributing member of society. Families are an influential part of a child’s development, especially during early childhood years and by researching child rearing techniques and learning theories, parents can have a better sense of what they can do to foster positive growth in their young child.

These next clips are for your enjoyment as you followed my blog, through readings, research and videos. Thank you for following along and I hope you enjoyed it! Check out these cute clips of brilliant children, doing what they do best. Learning, talking, growing and just being so adorable!

Brooks, J. (2011) The Process of Parenting (8th ed.). Toronto, ON: McGraw-Hill.

Smith, A. B. (2004). How do Infants and Toddlers Learn the Rules? Family Discipline and Young Children. International Journal of Early Childhood, 36 (2), 27-41. Retrieved January 26, 2013, from the JSTOR database.