Providing positive discipline for children – Part 3

Explore strategies for child disciplining and child rearing by showing empathy and giving children plenty of choices.

It’s important to explore and have an understanding of the purposes and principles of positive discipline in young children. Doing so will enable you to generate several appropriate techniques for dealing with discipline problems involving children of varying ages.

Show empathy
When your child is upset and frustrated, try to put yourself in his or her shoes. The situation may not seem that upsetting to you, but it could be very tragic for the child. S/he may have spent a very long time building something with the blocks, then an older child comes along and knocks them down. As a result the younger child may hit or bite the other child. We can respond with, “I see how frustrated that made you.” We can than talk to each child about how they were feeling and have them come up with appropriate behaviors they could demonstrate next time this situation arises. Instead of concentrating on punishment, acknowledge and let them talk about their feelings, turning this into a teachable moment. We all want our feelings to be acknowledged.

Give plenty of choices
When we give children choices, they in turn have control over their world; this builds self-esteem. Whenever possible, give the child choices. Some examples include, “Do you want to have milk or water with your dinner?” or “Do you want to wear this shirt or that one?” This gives the child the power to stop, think and take control of a situation. Always allow your child to make mistakes as they will learn from them. These are great teachable moments. By giving children choices and allowing them to learn from their mistakes, they are beginning to develop their own thinking skills and problem solving skills.

Explore strategies for child disciplining and child rearing through routines and positive attention by reading part one of this article series: “Providing positive discipline for children – Part 1.”

Explore strategies for child disciplining and child rearing by understanding your parenting style and history, and by creating an environment conducive to positive discipline when you read part two of this article series: “Providing positive discipline for children – Part 2.”

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