Parenting is a fantastically fun job. However, it is the hardest most important job in the world. Part of our responsibility as a parent is to teach our children. The word discipline derives from the Greek word that means “to teach”. Positive discipline is just that, opportunities to teach our children, not punish them. Here are a few more tools to help parents use positive discipline to help teach your children about the behavior we want to see.
Turn the problem into a game. For instance, if you child needs to clean the play space, time him/her and see if he can beat his/her record time.
Write your child a note or email. Writing allows you to communicate without overbearing emotion. It also soften your child’s defenses.
Solve the problem together. If your child is frustrated and has tried to solve the problem on his own, help him out and be a team
Reflect back to the child what you heard them say and the feelings you had when you heard him/her and that you understand why s/he might be feeling that way.
Let you child share his/her feelings with you in appropriate ways. Keep your defenses in check. Don’t defend your position, but really listen to you child.
Be flexible. Sometimes your child will have a really good point. Allow your child the opportunity to change your mind.
Offer choices instead of threats. But only offer choices you can live with.
Be firm and kind. You don’t have to be angry to convey strength.
Don’t rub it in. Sarcasm and meanness only serve to make the problem worse.
Make realistic requests. Be sure you have age appropriate expectations of your children. Often we ask younger children to perform tasks or behave in a manner that is above their ability. This only leads to frustration on all sides.
Check back this Thursday as Natalie offers more tips on Positive Discipline. As always, thanks for stopping by!
Guest post written by Alexa Griffith, LMHC, LCAC, NCC, RPT