“Children raised in chaos become adults who live in chaos. Give your child a childhood they don’t have to heal from.”
Discipline is a scary word. The moment we hear it; horrific images of Dunce caps and stick beating flash through our minds. However, the meaning of this word and the techniques involved have changed over time. Positive discipline creates a sense of security in children and boosts their confidence.
So what does it mean when we use the words, “positive discipline”?
Let us get some things straight first Discipline should not be confused with punishment. The goal is to instruct, inform or guide children on how to behave.
Positive Discipline means teaching your child to practice self-control by making them aware of the consequences of their actions. This form of discipline does not rely on inducing fear or shame in children. It doesn’t come with the intention to dominate but it is a rather empathetic approach toward disciplining your child.
6 Positive Discipline Techniques Every Parent must Know
Today we are going to look at 6 ways we can practice positive discipline with young children.
1. Give Them Choices
Young children act out mostly because they want to exert control over their lives. Offering the options to choose from will get things done more quickly than simply giving out commands. It will also make them feel more in control and lead to better behavior.
Instead of telling them to be quick and get moving try asking, “What do you want to put on first? Your shoes or your jacket?”
2. Use “No” Sparingly
Sometimes it seems as if parenting is all about shouting “No!” But it doesn’t have to be that way. In fact, the more frequently we ask our kids to stop doing something the more they get used to hearing No and the word loses its power. And they are less likely to respect their parent’s decisions.
Does this mean we should say Yes to our kid’s every outlandish idea? Definitely not.
What we need to do is to think and prepare beforehand. For example, getting your house child proof and getting rid of all possible hazards for your crawling baby is a lot better than yelling and freaking out as they yank electric cables.
If your toddler just won’t stop drawing on the walls, instead of snatching their crayons away put up a piece of cardboard in one corner, tell them it is their wall and they can color it as much as their heart’s desire.
Finding safe ways for your child to explore and discover will save you the trouble of shouting No all the time. It will also make them respect it more when you do use it.
3. Ignore Mild Misbehaviors
If it is something minor that could not have dangerous consequences then it is best to look the other way. Sometimes children act out just to get a response so it is best to ignore attention-seeking behavior.
Moreover, it will teach the child the natural consequences of his actions. If your child keeps breaking those biscuits he soon won’t be left with any to break. Choose which battles are worth fighting. You don’t have to be on your kid’s tail 24/7 calling them out each time they overstep. Let them make a few mistakes of their own and learn in the process.
4. Consistency is Key
Be consistent with the rules you lay down. Children model their behavior by recalling what was acceptable or unacceptable the day before. If you are not consistent in your disciplinary approach you will end up confusing them. Being consistent will also inspire their trust in you because you would come off as being in control.
It also helps to have a schedule that you stick by each day. Predictability and structure makes children feel more secure because they know what to expect.
5. No Bad Kid
Make sure you convey to your child that it is their behavior that made you put them in Time Out. Do not resort to name-calling. Labeling a kid bad makes them feel like there is something inherently wrong with them that they cannot correct. By letting the kid know that it is their behavior that is the problem you are making them realize that they can change the response from their parents by changing their actions.
6. Reward Good Behavior
Often times it is only the bad behavior of our kids that evokes a response from us. We often end up ignoring all the times our kids act well behaved. Being attentive to good behavior and offering rewards is encouraging and motivating.
So don’t become obsessed with just finding faults in your kids. Look for the good and be generous with your praise.
Here’s a quick recap of 6 Positive Discipline Techniques Every Parent must Know:
- Give Them Choices
- Use “No” Sparingly
- Ignore Mild Misbehaviors
- Consistency is Key
- No Bad Kid
- Reward Good Behavior
Parenting is hard. The little ones more often than not push us to our wits’ end. At the end of the day, we are the adults and even though it may get frustrating at times, we have to stay level-headed and not lose control.
Spanking or yelling has been scientifically proven to be ineffective disciplinary tools. If anything makes them more violent, it decreases empathy and affects their self-esteem. It is best when trying to discipline your kids to come from a place of love and understanding. Most of the time, when a child throws a tantrum it is because they do not have the proper tools to express themselves.
It is our job to provide them with the right words to express how they feel and to create a safe environment where they can explore and satiate their curiosity. While it is important to encourage good behavior sometimes it is okay to let kids be kids.
Lastly, keep in mind that parenthood is a rollercoaster ride. There will be highs and there will be lows. Times when you act your best and times when your kid acts his worst regardless of the smart techniques you employ. Once in a while take a breather and go easy on yourself and your kids.