Discipline has changed drastically over the last few decades as negative discipline techniques have become outdated and rarely work anymore. Positive discipline techniques are becoming increasingly more popular when it comes to teaching children lessons from their negative actions or misbehavior. The goal of using this form of positive parenting and discipline is to instill values, to help your child learn self-control, to protect your child from danger and to teach your child responsibility for their actions.
If you want to help your child learn and develop new and healthy behaviors by learning from positive discipline techniques, try some of these suggestions the next time they behave incorrectly.
- Use time-outs. Time-outs are a positive tool because it takes the child away from the situation they were misbehaving in. Time-outs are usually beneficial for children ages 2 and up as children that age can understand that what they were doing was not appropriate.
- Problem solving as a team. Instead of getting angry and grounding your child for something they have done wrong, try working together towards a solution. This is a fantastic way to work on problems as a family and come up with solutions together.
- Discipline, not punishment. It is important to know the difference between discipline and punishment. The days of punishment are over. Trying to solve a negative situation with a negative solution simply does not work or offer any long-term lessons in responsibility. Discipline teaches children to be responsible for their actions.
- Use encouragement. When your child makes a mistake and apologizes, accept their apology by telling them you appreciate them taking responsibility for their actions. Show your child how important it is to apologize by acknowledging their apology.
- Be a good example. When you make a mistake or do something wrong, apologize for it. This teaches your child that it is appropriate to apologize when we hurt someone or do something irresponsible.
- Distract them. A beneficial positive discipline technique is to distract the child from inappropriate actions and encourage them to engage in something more appropriate. Instead of yelling at the child or getting all stressed out and angry, distract your child with another situation.
- Communicate expectations. If you set boundaries on misbehaving and let your kids know what you expect of them with regards to their behavior, they will understand the consequences of their actions from the get go.
- Follow through. It is very important that you follow through with discipline. If you say your son has a time-out when they get home because of the swear word he said in the car, make sure he has a time-out. The only way your kids will learn and respect your expectations is if you follow through with your disciplinary actions.
Positive discipline helps guide children through life’s ups and downs, and it is allows for a positive family environment. It also teaches your child life skills, problem solving skills and allows for higher levels of respect for others and self esteem.