Discipline is a part of parenting. We all know that and it can be difficult to do sometimes. What’s appropriate? What actually works? The following are positive discipline guidelines:
1. 1. Misbehaving children are “discouraged children” who have mistaken ideas on how to achieve their primary goal—to belong. Their mistaken ideas lead them to misbehavior.
2. 2. Use encouragement to help children feel “belonging” so the motivations for misbehaving will be eliminated.
3. 3. Give encouragement through spending special time, “being with them,” doing something you can enjoy together. With younger children this could be 15 minutes a day. With older children it could be an hour once a week.
4. 4. At night ask your children to share with you their “saddest time” during the day, and their “happiest time” during the day. Then share with them. You will be surprised what you learn.
5. 5. Have family meetings to solve problems with cooperation and mutual respect. This creates a loving atmosphere while helping children develop self-discipline, responsibility, cooperation, and problem-solving skills.
6. 6. Give children meaningful chores. Many children would rather cook than wash dishes. Children feel belonging when they know they can make a real contribution. Decide together what chores need to be done. Put them all in a jar and let each child draw out a few each week. Then no one is stuck with the same chores all the time.
7 7. Take time for training. Make sure children understand what “clean the kitchen” means to you. To them it may mean simply putting the dishes in the sink.
8. 8. Children do not do better by first making them feel worse. Do you like doing better when you feel humiliated?
9 9. Punishment may “work” if all you are interested in is stopping misbehavior for “the moment.” Sometimes we must beware of what works when the long-range results are negative—resentment, rebellion, revenge, or retreat.
Stay tuned for more positive discipline suggestions. Share your positive discipline experiences! Try these out and tell us what happened! Comment on anything!