Positive discipline

  • Try as much as you can to emphasize the behaviors that you want to increase. Repeat to your children that they behave well, during or immediately after positive behavior. Specify what was good about what the child did and do not just say “Good job!”. For example, if the child says bad words sometimes, certainly, there are times when he/she speaks nicely and uses good words. Highlight this by saying, “Honey, how beautiful you are talking! You used your nice words!” Or even “You were very good at your maths tonight.” This is how you teach the child to connect the right behavior with a sense of pride for himself/herself.
  • Use messages that begin with “I”. For example, you can say “It is very hard to find my things when the last one who entered my room has left it messy” or even say “I could use some peace when I am trying to sleep”. Another example is: “I am so tired, it would be good if somebody could help me with dinner.” Such phrases transfer the effects of the child’s behavior or actions on the parent so that the child no longer feels a threat (in this way, the child is less likely to have a negative reaction). Additionally, your real emotion is expressed and the child can be easily motivated to help you.
  • Your rules need to be clear and specific, as well as stated in a positive way. Use simple language and check whether he/she has understood the rule by giving an example of applying it together. For example, instead of saying “Do not shout”, better choose, “Please speak in a low voice.” Another example could be to replace “Do not throw your cubes”, with, “We use the cubes to play”.
  • Moreover, if the child helps you set up the rules, then the chances of obeying them are greater. You may say to the child: “We need to make rules because we are a team and we want to know when you and I do are doing a great job!” For that, choose a moment when your child behaves well. If you plan new rules each time he/she behaves in a negative way, the child will think that rules are the result of bad behavior.
  • Have a daily routine. Children are happier when they know what to expect from their parents. Try to set a routine for everyday events, such as time for sleep, time for meals, bathing, reading. This will make the child feel safer and the chances of him/her getting frustrated will be reduced.

Positive discipline decreases tension and increases our communication with the child.