Providing positive discipline for children

Let’s explore the understanding of the purposes and principles of positive discipline in young children. You will be able to generate several appropriate techniques for dealing with discipline problems involving children of varying ages.

Every parent’s dream is to have their child behave well, at home, in public or at a friend’s house. For most parents, that’s just what good behaviour remains: a dream. Here are some tip for turning that dream into reality.

Know what you want and why you want to build a peaceful home

The overall goal of discipline is to teach self-control. There is a difference between punishment and discipline. Punishment means that you are hurting another person either physically or emotionally. The negative behavior may stop because the children are learning that you are bigger than them and that you can hurt them. With discipline, you are teaching the child what they can do, and if they choose not to, there will be consequences for the negative behavior. An example of this would be to say, “This is how we pet the dog,” rather than, “Don’t pull the dogs hair.” Another example is, instead of saying, “Don’t write on the wall,” say, “We write on paper. Let’s go find some.” With these two examples, we are teaching the children what they can do instead of what they can’t do. That would make these teachable moments.

Know your child

Work at individualizing your approach to discipline to your child’s unique personality. No two children have the same personality, whether they are siblings, cousins or your friend’s children. We should never compare them, even when they are not present, and most certainly not in front of them. We as adults do not like to be compared to someone else, so why would children? We each have our own set of skills and traits. Always make sure your expectations are age- and developmentally appropriate for each child. Understand each child’s cues to ward off a negative behavior. We should be familiar with different behaviors for when they are tired, hungry, sick, hurt and over- or under-stimulated. This way, we hopefully can avoid a problem before it starts.

These tips aren’t guaranteed to turn your children into angels overnight, but by pursuing discipline instead of punishment, showing kids what they can do instead of what they can’t, avoiding comparisons and having appropriate expectations for each child, we’ll all be a bit closer to sitting on cloud nine!

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