I’m from the old school… “spare the rod, spoil the child” however, I know that this method of discipline is not always practical nor does it always deliver the desired results. Check out my 5 positive discipline techniques:
- If you want your children’s respect, you must show them respect. There is a huge divide between showing your children respect and giving them complete control. Showing them respect means that you speak them like people and not scream at them or berate them at every chance. You acknowledge that although they may think differently, they still have feelings. You should think about the power of your words before you speak to them. Some parents are doing irreparable damage to their children just by the tone in their voice. When you and your children respect each other, it will be easier to discuss “situations” that arise and find solutions.
- Teach your children to respect themselves. Many negative behaviors that children exhibit stem from a lack of self-respect. They don’t fully appreciate who they are and the greatness that they are capable of so they take on an “anything goes attitude”. You should set the standard for they type of behavior that is acceptable from your children and let them know that anything less will not be tolerated. No, they will not always behave accordingly but they will know that when they do so, it should make them feel some type of negative emotion. Many children have no real concept of right and wrong thus they feel no remorse when they do something wrong. If they have become accustomed to their parents always screaming and yelling then that technique no longer becomes effective. They develop a “I don’t care attitude” which we see in lots of teenagers. You should be willing to talk to your children about the things that they do well as well when they do something wrong.
- Learn how to listen. So many times when our children do something wrong, we only see the situation through our point of view. Rather than disciplining them about the end result, take the time to figure out how the situation occurred. There may be some instances where the child had good intentions but things just didn’t work out. There may be other instances where they just didn’t think through their process and yes… there will be lots of instances where they were just doing the wrong thing. The key is to find out how your child is making decisions, their decision-making process. You can correct some of their thought processes while they are young which can help them to make better decisions in the future if you understand how they are processing information.
- Talk about consequences. One of the things that I tell my son is, “bad things happen when you do the wrong thing.” This is not an absolute in the universe; however, I want him to believe that the opposite is also true, “good things happen when you do the right thing.” As a child, if you had to choose between good things happening or bad things, which are you more likely to choose? You also have to mindful to follow through on the consequences that you set for bad behavior. Don’t become one of those parents that is always threatening your child. Once they see that you are not serious, you have lost control.
- Write down the rules. I have heard that you should not give children more than 5 rules. While they are younger, the rules will be more general and should be easily remembered. As they grow up, you can become more specific. It is a good idea to review the rules at least once a year, get their input and be ready to revise as they are ready for more responsibility.
Although these may not seem like discipline techniques to some people, I am a proactive person. Rather than waiting for a situation to occur and then deal with it, I try to find ways to deter the incident or have a means of dealing with it when it does. Children are very unpredictable from moment to moment but just like any other relationship, communication is the key. The more they are able to see your perspective and the more you are able to see things from their perspective, the more often you will be able to find common ground.