Staying positive is usually the best approach to discipline. As frustrating as your child’s behavior may be, experts agree that employing positive discipline techniques to support your children’s development is the way to go. This week we’re going over positive discipline techniques to help you up your parenting game.
The Principles of Positive Discipline
Positive discipline is a means of directing your child’s behavior through thoughtful, calm and kind word choices and tone of voice. The concept focuses on respect, empathy and an understanding of what your child may be feeling in a particular situation or moment in time. Discipline is necessary to help children learn right from wrong and shape their behaviors to meet your expectations. However, instructive discipline should not be destructive to your child physically or emotionally.
The philosophy of positive discipline is grounded in respectful communication, a positive delivery, and overall compassion for and kindness towards your child. The goal is not only good behavior, but also to continue to build a strong bond between parents and children that will strengthen the family unit. When children feel supported rather than put down, they are more confident and productive as they grow.
Find the Root Cause of Misbehavior
Usually what parents deem as “bad behavior” is caused by a particular need that is unmet. Some needs are obvious, such as being tired or hungry. Others are more concealed, such as feeling sad about something that happened at school or feeling that they don’t have enough time with mom or dad. Because it is hard for children to pinpoint the source of their feelings, especially the latter examples, they usually aren’t going to readily tell you why they are acting out.
This is when you need to put on your best detective hat and become a sleuth to discover why your child is misbehaving. Often there is something that instigates bad behavior and can be avoided without the irritant. It may be loud noises or crowded spaces, or it could be a feeling that your child has little control over their own lives. Once you understand the root cause, you can work to address or avoid it for a happier and better behaved child.
As adults, these sources may seem irrational. Being in crowded spaces or having limited choices are often a part of life. But your child won’t understand that for some time. So empathy and compassion are required to work with your child until he can be more comfortable in certain situations.
Later this week we’ll continue our discussion of positive discipline techniques with how to be a positive parent.
Sources: Parents Magazine, PBS and Attachment Parenting