We’ve all heard of positive disciplining. But what exactly does it mean and how can we put this into practice with our kids?
We’ve put together five quick tips on implementing positive disciplining techniques that will encourage self-discipline and self-esteem with your kids.
1. Start with yourself
The greatest gift you can give your child is your best self. So practice in self care (e.g. regular exercise, meditation, healthy eating, at least 7-hours of sleep, etc.).
After all, how can we nurture our kids if we don’t nurture ourselves?
2. Provide consistency and rules
It’s important to provide consistent direction and rules in easy-to-understand, age-appropriate terms.
Research shows that children thrive on routine and schedules. Does your child know the rules of the house? Your kids need you to provide guidance and discipline.
One way of putting this into practice is creating a chore chart for your kids. Make it part of the daily routine and get your child to ‘check’ when a chore is done.
3. Provide positive reinforcements
Positive reinforcements are ongoing disciplining tools that develop boundaries with your children.
Throughout the day, make a point of catching your kids doing something right and take notice. Point out things like, "Fantastic job playing so nicely with your brother," and, "Great job cleaning up."
Positive reinforcements help children learn to become self-disciplined and make good choices. Keeping positive also encourages interaction with you throughout the day and replaces any negative attention and behaviors.
4. Focus on behaviour, not the child
Remain focused on the behaviour, not the child.
For instance, saying "bad boy" might not sound that awful, but it is actually suggesting that your child is bad, not his behaviour that is bad.
Rather than say something like, "Why are you being such a bad boy?" try replacing it with something like, "Why are you behaving so badly?"
5. Clarity and consistency are key
It can be a bit daunting to always hear mom saying, "No" and "Don’t."
Try replacing these words with phrases starting with, "How about we…" or "Let’s try…"
Sending a clear message of what to expect next is also important: "I need you to…" or, "In 10 minutes we are leaving."
Children deserve due warning. Discuss consequences with your child and be sure to follow through. If you don’t, your child will continue to behave poorly since she knows that house rules are meant to be broken.
What are some of the ways you practice positive disciplining in your home?