It’s not easy to be a parent. It comes with many responsibilities, one of which is discipline. You must teach your children how to behave in a way that benefits themselves and others, but the question is: What are the best ways you can enforce this?
Understanding What Positive Discipline Is
Positive discipline involves reinforcing the good and ignoring the bad, hence “positive.” It is not a punishment but simply a way to encourage good behavior. When your children do something good, you acknowledge it and tell them how proud you are of them.
It is not harsh, just firm, but also loving and caring at the same time. You want to instill self-esteem in your children, allowing them to know they can do no wrong.
Role of a Parent
The role of a parent is to be firm and consistent but never harsh and abusive. Take discipline seriously with your children. They need to know that you are in charge and it’s for their good.
They will respect you more when they see that you are consistent and fair, rather than when you change your behavior based on the mood you are in at the moment. Don’t show favoritism to one child over another, as this will only make them resent each other.
It is also essential to be a role model for your children. If they see that you are kind and compassionate, they will follow suit.
Tips on how to teach your child positive discipline
The best way to teach kids positive discipline is by modeling it yourself. If you want to practice positive discipline strategies with your kids, here are some tips:
- Set rules and limits
You will start by teaching them the basic rules of your household and letting them know their limits.
You want to be sure you set rules that are both realistic and appropriate for their age so that they can follow them without much hassle.
If you feel like a rule is too much, lower it until you find a happy medium that fits your family. But make sure that they know there are consequences if they break the rules you have set.
Use positive reinforcement
This is the most effective way to apply positive discipline. The most important thing is to give a positive consequence for every positive action your child does.
Start with a simple reward such as verbal praise and then work down to more tangible rewards like stickers or even special treats as they get older.
Consider going a step further and giving them something they like to earn, like an hour in a gaming room now and then if they do well at school.
Set a consistent routine so that they know what to expect every day. This is especially important when they are getting older and start to feel like every day is just the same.
However, it’s also important to make an exception once in a while and not treat them like robots. Make sure it’s something special and meaningful, as getting too caught up on rewards can make your child think that he doesn’t have any other options besides doing well.
Guide their behavior
Kids generally dislike having their actions dictated to them. Therefore, you should take the time to explain your expectations so that they understand why and how you expect them to behave.
If they don’t understand, talk about it with them and make sure you speak the same language. This will make things go a lot smoother, as they will respond better when they know that they are doing something right.
Take time out
When your children misbehave, they need to know that they made a mistake. So, if you see that they have done something wrong, make them sit in a time-out chair for a bit.
This gives them time to think about what they did, and you can also talk to them about what they did was wrong and explain how it made you feel. Also, make sure you tell them how to do it the next time to avoid confusion on their end.
Make them apologize
Although it is easy to get angry at your children’s behavior, try to refrain from showing your anger and frustration when they are misbehaving.
This will only make them feel worse, and they will start to wonder what they did wrong and develop a sense of insecurity and inadequacy. So, make them apologize if they made a mistake so that you can show them you are still on their side, even though they were in the wrong.
However, you should make sure that you don’t overuse this tactic. Only doing it once in a while will prevent your child from using “sorry” as an excuse to get out of trouble.
Make sure they are comfortable talking to you
If your child doesn’t feel like they can talk to you, they won’t. It’s that simple. So make sure that you set a good example by being open and honest about your feelings.
This will show them that they can discuss their problems with you and will lower your child’s walls so they will be more willing to confide in you.
Make more effort to talk to them about what they are feeling. When you get down to it, kids usually want their parents’ approval and encouragement. So, tell them how much you love them and how proud you are that they were able to overcome whatever obstacle they faced.
Kids learn from watching the way their parents act towards other people. And when you show your children that you have a positive outlook on life, do it with love and respect.
This will prevent them from bottling up their anger in the future. If you have a bad day, find something to be happy about. Smile at your children, and you will see that they start smiling too.
This will take time and a lot of patience, but remember that it is the way you treat them. And most importantly, be consistent with your ways, as it will make all the difference.
The Benefits of Positive Discipline
Positive discipline helps kids develop self-control, emotional regulation, and social skills. It teaches them to take responsibility for their actions and encourages them to become independent thinkers.
Don’t punish them for misbehaving; instead, take away privileges or give them a time out.
Spanking and yelling at children tend to make them mentally and physically unhealthy. They are also more likely to become rebellious, aggressive, and even violent in the future.
But when you employ positive discipline strategies, they build self-esteem and self-confidence. Kids thrive on praise and recognition, so giving them positive attention every time they succeed is a more effective way to teach them than being hard on them all the time.
***Author Bio: Andrea is currently the head of content management at SpringHive Web Design Company, a digital agency that provides creative web design, social media marketing, email marketing, and search engine optimization services to small businesses and entrepreneurs. She is also a blog contributor at Baby Steps Preschool where she writes storytime themes, parenting tips, and seasonal activities to entertain children.