Discipline is no doubt one of the toughest jobs of being a parent. However, it is also one of the most important because of its lasting impact on a child’s overall well-being and future success. It’s also important to note that there’s a difference between positive discipline and punishment. But what does positive discipline really mean? How is it different from punishment?
Positive discipline is the kind of discipline that is founded on a loving relationship between a parent and a child. It is when a child is treated with respect and love while being taught how to make appropriate choices. Punishment, on the other hand, uses physical force to make children behave and obey. Because you want to make your little one do the right thing without having to instill fear, here are helpful tips on how parents can practice positive discipline with their kids.
Understand the reason behind the behavior
So your child hit their playmate and you call them out for that behavior. But instead of focusing on scolding your child, try to understand the cause. Is it jealousy? Is it because it’s their way of desperately bidding for attention? Young kids want to behave well but when they fail to, know that there’s a valid reason behind it. More often than not, they are only trying to get their parents’ attention and they do it in an unhealthy way because they don’t know how to process and express their emotions.
Try to look at the bigger picture and analyze the reason why your child behaves in a certain way. Maybe it’s also your own behavior that needs correcting to satisfy their needs.
Control yourself instead of your child
It’s definitely challenging to keep your cool when at the height of your emotions, but if parents want their child to exhibit the right behavior, parents should be their role model. Show them the kind of behavior you want them to emulate. Don’t do things you don’t want your child to do. If you’re at the verge of exploding, take deep breaths and walk away until you’ve composed yourself.
Don’t keep on saying “no”
Parents oftentimes find themselves repeatedly telling their kids “no” or “don’t do that”. While there are things we don’t really want our little ones to do, there’s a much better way to stop them and that is by redirecting them. For example, instead of telling them that no, they can’t play video games during mealtime, you can tell them they can wait until they have finished their food. Doing this will help make them feel more capable because they are told what they can do rather than what they can’t.
Set clear expectations
And be consistent about it. It’s imperative that young kids clearly understand how they are expected to behave. At the same time, they should also know that you are consistent with these expectations. If they did something wrong today and were told that it’s bad but they did it again the next time, reiterate that the behavior isn’t acceptable.
Parenting, while challenging at times, should be rewarding and fun. So instead of stressing yourself out lecturing your child for their misbehavior, try to empathize. Avoid raising your voice, and even if you have to do something about a bad behavior at that moment, wait until the perfect time to have a conversation with them. Find out what triggered the behavior and let them know you understand how they feel. Then, point out that how they acted was still a mistake and should not be repeated anymore.
Give them a chance to be heard
Just like adults, young kids need to feel heard. They need to know that their opinions and thoughts matter. Don’t get mad at your child for expressing their thoughts about anything. In fact, it’s healthy that they know they are being listened to. And when they talk, it’s better to stay silent and avoid arguing. Let them present their case and work with them in terms of brainstorming.
Who says parenting has to be an exhausting battle? It doesn’t have to! By learning how to practice positive discipline with your child, you’re on the right path to better behavior.
Here at Imagine Nation Learning Center, promoting the right behaviors in young kids is one of our goals. Send your little one to a school that shares the same goals you do. Please feel free to give us a call for more information.