A Guide on Employing Positive Discipline for Parents

Positive Discipline is a method in which parents clearly communicate with their children which behaviors are appropriate, which ones are inappropriate, and which rewards are for good behavior and which the consequences for bad behavior are.

In general, there are five key principles of Positive Discipline:

  1. It means to remain firm and kind at the same time.
  2. It teaches social and life skills for good character.
  3. It helps your children feel a sense of significance and belonging.
  4. It invites your children to use their personal power in constructive ways and to discover how capable they are.
  5. It is effective in long term.

Guide on How to Get Started with Positive Discipline?

  1. There are Certified Positive Discipline Trainers, who hold classes and workshops about how to employ Positive Discipline.
  2. Take stock of how your family deals with feelings. It is recommended you listen much more than you talk. When your child feels a sense of belonging and significance, he/she is much more likely to listen and cooperate and much less likely to misbehave. It is also helpful to know that your children are taught how to manage and regulate their emotions through witnessing how we manage and regulate our emotions. Therefore, it is important to model the very behavior that we want to see.
  3. Talk to the teachers in your lives since they commonly use Positive Discipline as a way of managing class behavior in the classroom. This means that teachers stay warm and firm, give their students clear expectations for what needs to be accomplished, provide them with clear guidelines for what behaviors are unacceptable, work with them to create solutions to their problems, as well as reward positive behaviors or discourage negative behaviors clearly and transparently. If a teacher can do it for a classroom including dozens of kids, you can do it at home, surely.
  4. Set up a goal for your whole family and discuss about a plan for how to achieve it. Don’t forget to offer a lot of options.

The best tips on learning effective parenting skills (part 4)

7. Pay Attention To Yourself

Parents need relief, too. So pay attention to your own well-being. Take good care of yourself is also good parenting skills.

When a child is born, things such as your own health or the health of your marriage are sometimes kept on the back burner. If you don’t pay attention to these things, they will become bigger problems in long-term run​​. Therefore, take time to strengthen your relationship with your spouse.

Ask for parenting help whenever you need. Having some “me time” for yourself is important to rejuvenate the mind.

How parents take care of themselves will make a big difference in their parenting, both physically and mentally. If these two areas fail, your child will also suffer.

8. Do Not Spank, No Matter What

It can be said with no doubt, spanking can bring to some parents short-term compliance which sometimes is a much-needed relief for them.

However, this method doesn’t teach their kids right from wrong. It only teaches the kids to fear external consequences and then they are motivated to avoid getting caught instead. Spanking your kids is modeling to them that they can resolve problems by using violence​​.

Children who are spanked, hit, or smacked are more prone to fighting with other children such as their friends or brothers/sisters. They are more likely to become bullies and to use verbal and physical aggression to solve disputes. In long term, they are also more likely to result in delinquency and antisocial behavior, mental health issues, worse parent-child relationships, and domestic violence victims or abusers​​.

There are many better alternatives to discipline that have been proven to be more effective, such as Positive Discipline (has been mentioned in Part 2) and positive reinforcement, which is adding a pleasant stimulus to enhance a behavior.

The best tips on learning effective parenting skills (part 2)

3: Practice Kind and Firm Positive Parenting

We are born with about 100 billion brain cells (or neurons) with relative connections, which together drive our actions, create our thoughts, shape our personalities, and determine basically who we are. They are created, strengthened, and sculpted through experiences throughout our lives.

If you give your children positive experiences, they will be able to experience positive experiences themselves as well as offer them to the other​s.

If you give your children negative experiences, they won’t have the development necessary for them to thrive.

Always keep that in your mind. Play indoor games. Go to the park. Have a fun bike riding. Laugh with your kids. Ride through their emotional tantrum. Together solve a problem with a positive attitude.

Doing these positive experiences will create good connections in your children’s brain as well as form the memories of you that your children carry for life.

In terms of discipline, although it seems hard to remain positive, parents can practice Positive Discipline to avoid punitive measures.

Being a good parent means you need to teach your kids the moral in what is right and what is wrong. Setting limits and being consistent are the main keys to good discipline. Be firm and kind when enforcing those rules. Focus on the reason behind your kids’ behavior and make it a change to learn for the future, instead of punishing for the past.

4. Be A Safe Haven For Your Kids

Let your kids know that you will always be there for them by being responsive to the kids’ signals and sensitive to their needs. Support and accept your kids as an individual. Be a safe and warm haven for them to explore from.

Kids raised by parents who are consistently responsive tend to have better social development, emotional development, and mental health outcomes.