Learn to Ignore when Disciplining Your Child
By Grandma Jeddah
The Prophet (saw) used ignoring when he was displeased with the behavior of those under his charge on several occasions. In one incident it involved his discontent with his wives, and he retreated to an upper room. In another case he used it with three companions who neglected to attend the battle of Tabuk.32
Ignoring can be an effective way to encourage compliance from your child or discourage him from continuing with inappropriate behavior. Use Ignoring as an alternative to reprimanding and hitting.
Using the ignoring approach to discipline may initially lead to an escalation in your child’s inappropriate behavior. Once your child sees you are not responding to his actions, he may ramp up his kicking, shouting or back talk to get your attention.
Let’s say your 5-year-old son is upset because you won’t give him a second piece of your delicious banana bread. He drops to the floor, sprawled out, bawling and flailing his legs and arms. As long as there is no danger to your child or others, wait it out. Patience can be a virtue.
When ignoring, be sure not to send signals with your face, body language or tone that indicate or suggest you are being affected by your child’s behavior. Ignoring can be very effective with toddlers and even school-age children who throw tantrums. It might take several sessions of ignoring your child for him to learn that his behavior will not get the response he is striving for. It can be well worth the wait, however. The most difficult part of this approach might be your difficulty remaining patient throughout the succession of episodes.
Some common behaviors you can ignore are whining, temper tantrums, pouting, attempts at angering or hurting your feelings, and interrupting your conversations with others. When your son’s annoying behavior ceases, take time to give him your attention. It doesn’t have to be anything elaborate; let the situation guide your response. But show him that appropriate behavior will gain him the attention he desires.
Grandma Jeddah is the mother of 11 children and 13 grandchildren. She has taught hundreds of students for over 30 years at an Islamic school in Los Angeles, California.This is an excerpt from her book, Discipline without Disrespecting: Discover the Hidden Secrets of How to Effectively Discipline Your Muslim Child--And Keep Your Peace of Mind while at It. Subscribe to her free newsletter at --http://www.grandmajeddah.com