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The Ultimate Guide to Positive Discipline

When it comes to correcting your children, there are many factors that come at play.

As a parent, you have to ask yourself what is causing the child to be wayward.

  • What kind of mistakes does the child make?
  • What kind of correctional measures are you supposed to take?

Regardless of the mistakes that our children commit, they will always remain our children. In this regard, one has to think about the kind of punishment or correctional measures that they will take to ensure that the child’s behavior is reinforced.

There is what is known as the positive discipline, or (PD) mode of correcting the behaviors that the children adapt with time.

When parenting, one needs to ensure that they are helping their children even when they make grave mistakes and this will make it easy for the child to correct themselves and appreciate the fact that the parent is doing all they can to help them.

This is where positive discipline comes in. Without a doubt, this model focuses on the positive aspects of behavior in a child. This model of discipline can be used at school and even by parents and in it, we believe that there are no bad children.

No parent should regard their children as bad children. Rather, there are bad behaviors and good behaviors.

You will work hard to build the good behaviors of your child while on the other hand you will try and wean the bad behaviors that your child has without the need for you to hurt the child emotionally, physically or verbally.

We shall dwell on how a parent can take advantage of the positive discipline model so that they can bring up their children to be positive young people who are well behaved and people who can be relied on in the society.

That being said, a parent needs to know that positive discipline is a contrast of negative discipline that involves angry response to the negative behaviors of the children.

When applied, this kind of disciplining model will do more damage to the child and it will definitely destroy the child.

# What Is Discipline?

As a parent, you need to differentiate discipline from punishment.

We are going to discuss these two aspects of correcting your child and we shall get to know which the right method for you to use is.

Regarding the upbringing of your children, discipline refers to the teaching of a child to live in the right way and control their behavior.

As we all know, a child may behave in the wrong way and this is normal for children for you to correct the child, you have to think about the way to correct the child without the need for you to punish the child.

Punishment means that the child will be sanctioned or penalized for their unacceptable behavior we shall discuss this in the next section.

However, since punishment involves physical pain inflicted on the child; it is therefore not the best way to correct the wayward behaviors of the child and this may lead to a further worsening of the child’s behavior.

As such, it may not be the best way to bring your child to the right way of behavior and life.

When you learn the best way to bring up your child, you will appreciate that discipline is the right way to bring up children. All children are good and they can have their misbehaviors corrected in a positive manner.

Discipline involves the positive methods that are used to teach children that they can have self-control and they can behave in a socially acceptable manner.

As a parent, you need to know that discipline is what will bring your child closer to you. It is a necessary type of relationship that you and your child should cultivate and the parent has a responsibility to make sure that you have thought your child on the expected way of behavior; depending on the age of the child.

However, in all ways and thoughts, you need to apply this depending on the consistencies of the age and the stage of development of your child.

When you are disciplining your child, the following are some of the things that will be expected of you:

  • You will be expected to guide the child, educate them and help them to develop self-control in their dealing with other people.
  • You have to help the child to have what is known as mutual respect and trust.
  • You have to believe that the child will change because of the respect and greater understanding that you will cultivate in them.

# What Is The Meaning Of Positive Discipline?

What is positive discipline, also known as PD? This model of correcting children is a very important aspect of raising your children and as such, all parents need to know how this model can help them in their situations at home with the children.

By definition, positive discipline can be said to be a model of discipline that is used in schools as well as by parents to focus on the positive aspects of behaviors of children. With this model, it is believed that there are no good or bad children; what there are good behaviors and bad behavior.

The purpose is to reinforce the good behaviors of the children and wean the bad behaviors of the children without the need to hurt the children either verbally, emotionally or physically.

The proponents of positive discipline believe that this is the best way to bring up children who understand what is expected of their behavior as well as what society expects of them. It is also believed that with positive discipline, the child will always appreciate the consequences that will come with their behaviors without the need for these children to feel hated, disrespected or abused.

One question that you may be asking is whether the parents who prefer positive discipline are cowards or they do not want to behave like real parents.

Well, to answer this, the parents who have successfully applied positive discipline on their children are not at all ignoring the problems that come with errant children. They are in the real sense involved in helping the children to learn the right way of handling situations in life.

They are teaching these children how to handle issues without hurting the children. These parents want to have their children remain calm and respectful on top of being friendly to these children in matters discipline.

You will benefit from learning the right way to apply positive discipline on your children. You see, there are a number of ways that when used in combination can make it more effective for parents to manage the behavior of their children. These methods will also help the teachers to manage groups of students so that they can behave in the right way.

PBS, also known as Positive Behavior Support is an open ended model that is used by parents and even the teachers in bringing up children. It is known to promote positive making of decisions, and teaches expectations to children so that they know what is expected of them from an early age.

This model also encourages positive behavior in children. Positive discipline is the opposite of negative discipline. With the positive discipline, the following range of punishments and reinforcement options are used:

  • Positive reinforcement where the good efforts made by the children is complimented.
  • Positive punishment where the child is required to for instance clean up the mess that they may have created.
  • Negative reinforcement involves ignoring requests that the child may make while they whine or in a whining tone.
  • Negative punishment is the option where the child will have privileges removed as a response to their poor behavior.

As a parent, you will appreciate the fact that positive discipline is a structured manner of guiding your child in a humane and a friendly way. The parent will be firm and reasonable in their expectations of the child as well as in the manner in which they apply this kind of discipline.

This, unlike negative discipline, helps to build the confidence of the children and make them responsible in a friendly and understandable manner. 

# The 5 Criteria to Effective Positive Discipline

There are 5 criteria that you can rely on to benefit from the positive discipline aspect of raising children. These are as listed below:

  • Positive discipline is the sure way to have your children feel a sense of being connected to you. The children will appreciate their belonging to you and their significance to you as a parent.

  • Positive discipline creates a mutual respect between the parents and the children. This encourages both the children and the parents even though the parents will still be firm and kind to the children at the same time.

  • Positive discipline is effective in the long run as the children will grow into mature and self respecting adults. It considers the thinking of the children, their feelings and how they learn and decide about their own future lives.

  • Positive discipline helps the parents to teach their children important life skills such as how to respect other people, how to solve common problems in life as well as how to cooperate with the other people in the society.

  • It helps children to discover their individual capabilities. It is a good way of helping the children to cultivate their constructive use of personal energies, personal power and personal autonomy.

# Benefits of Positive Discipline

I know you are burning to know if at all there are recognizable benefits that come with positive discipline for the parents and the children alike. Well, from the above criteria, you can tell that the parents and the children gain much more than you would have thought of.

When it comes to the application of positive discipline is schools, there is evidence of better teacher and student relations. When the students behave in a mature and independent manner, the teachers will focus most of their energies in the academic benefits of the students. You see, teachers get frustrated when they have to deal with students who are not well behaved.

According to PBS75% of the crimes that are committed by the high school drop outs could be a result of negative discipline. You may also be curious to know that the students who drop out of high school in the United States do so due to the effects of negative discipline.

As such, we can deduce that positive discipline is one of the best ways to improve the lives of the children and their parents alike. When this is the case, you can rest assured that there will be peace in the whole society.

# Why is Positive Discipline Important?

Positive discipline, when implemented properly, will make your life easier.  Your children will choose to do the right thing and they will be happy and well-adjusted individuals.

It can be very easy to rant and rave to get your children to behave as you would like them to. However, this does not teach them the value of good behavior. Positive parenting will provide your child with a nurturing and understanding environment; this will lead them into wanting to be good.

Positive discipline will foster good relationships with your children which will provide you with many rewards when they are older.  Alongside the pride of seeing your children mature into well-adjusted adults, you will have the joy of spending quality time with them, without needing to do any disciplining.

Positive discipline has been shown to encourage certain skill sets in children which may, otherwise, be lacking:

  • A high level of self esteem results from positive parenting which emphasizes the good and avoids negative discipline.

  • Positive discipline encourages children to think for themselves and to respect others. These attributes are carried into adulthood and help them to be respectful of everyone they meet.
    This ensures they are able to deal with other people’s opinions whilst having the confidence to voice their own.

  • Problem solving and other life skills tend to be higher in those that have been brought up with positive parenting. This is probably because they have been encouraged to try anything and have always had a secure family environment which has allowed them to flourish as individuals.

  • Positive discipline techniques generally encourage the formation of a secure bond between parent and child. This security is essential to the normal, healthy development of a child.

  • A child who experiences positive discipline becomes self regulating and is much less likely to misbehave.

  • As children age and become more independent they will be more likely to stubbornly refuse to do something. This can cause a power struggle which neither party ever really wins. Positive parenting eliminates this issue and allows both parties to talk and resolve any issue.

  • Positive parenting will lower your levels of stress as issues are talked over and there is no fighting over something being done properly. Lower stress levels have been shown to have long term health benefits.

Changing from your current parenting method may not reap instant rewards but it will improve your child’s behavior in a short space of time and you will never look back.

# 10 Tips to Help Shape Your Child’s Behavior

Becoming a parent is a challenge, but you can overcome it with the right information and determination. So we are going to shed some light on what you can do so as to raise a child who is adorable because of his or her good behavior.

Well, we all want to be associated with what is good. Nobody wants to be associated with children who are not well behaved and every mother will be quick to advice his or her children to keep away from bad company.

Trying to mold your child to be accepted by the society is going to be a task for you considering the fact that the child will have to interact with other people who do not hold the values you instill in him or her. However, the effort you put in shaping the behavior of your child is worth it because it is very rewarding at the end.

What does shaping the behavior of your child entail and what should you do? The mistake that most parents commit is that of expecting their children to learn new behavior all at the same time.

This is not a good approach to helping your child grow into what you want. You need to allow your child to learn new behavior step by step. This is exactly what is involved in shaping the behavior of the child.

In shaping the behavior of your child, you get to reinforce each small step to help him or her achieve that big goal. However, you must start from somewhere.

Yes! You ought to first know how children get to learn the bad behavior and why they do so. Let us then focus on the various tips and techniques that can help in shaping the behavior of your child.

We do hope that after you’re done reading this guide, you will be more enlightened on how to intervene in instilling desirable behavior on your child.

1. Effects of Praising Your Child on His or Her Behavior

Praising the child for good behavior will help in boosting his or her esteem. This will get the child motivated to repeat the act over and over again.

However, it is very crucial that you learn to apply praise in the right way because it is a necessary evil. It can sometimes be misinterpreted.

For example it’s important to learn how to praise the behavior properly.

Statements like “good boy” or “good girl” can do more harm than good. Praise also does impact differently on children of different ages. When children are so young, it is very easy for them to thrive on praise.

However, older kids tend to think beyond the face value of the praise and may take it negatively especially when they think that you want to manipulate them with your praise. You need always be sincere with your praise.

2. Using Rewards and Timely Motivators to Shape Behavior

Researchers have tried to find out why people behave the way they do. According to the incentive theory of motivation, people will tend to behave in a certain way because there is a reward they expect to get.

When you reward your child for behaving well, you get to reinforce that behavior and you can be sure the child will be motivated to repeat it in future. As it is the case, the unrewarded behavior usually dies.

3. Practicing Selective Ignorance

As a parent, it may not be so easy to ignore actions from your child. However, some actions are better ignored because they will correct themselves at the end.

For example, you can avoid arguing with your child over things that appear petty which will help him or her learn that there are more important things worth spending time on rather than dealing with petty issues.

4. Importance of Reminding Your Child

We all forget at one time or the other. Children also forget. This is why it is important to remind them of what to do from time to time no matter how monotonous it may become.

As a parent, you should not tire reminding your child to do that which is good. Do not be so mad to the child when he or she does not do what is right soon after correcting him or her. Remember this is a process!

5. Withdrawal of Privilege

You can also let your child know that he or she needs to change from the poor behavior by withdrawing some of the privileges the child was enjoying.

However, you must do this in a wise manner to ensure that the child does not feel hated but rather learns his or her mistakes. Make the child connect the denial of privileges with some wrong behavior.

6. Don’t Focus on Negative

The greatest mistake that you can make is to focus too much on their negative side. Comments like; “you have done this again!” “When will you ever do something right?” among others are a poor way of correcting a mistake.

In fact, the child may get even worse. You can, therefore, learn to correct your child in a positive tone rather than in a negative manner.

7. Teaching the Child on What to Do

Some parents have a funny way of trying to teach their children of what to do. Instead of telling the child what to do, the parent will tell the child what not to do.

Instead of telling the child, “Do not do this (which is wrong),” learn to tell the child’ “do this (what is right).” This way, the child will be able to remember what to do when faced with the situation.

8. Strive To Be Logical

While trying to correct a wrong behavior in your child, it is important that you apply logic rather than getting too much sentimental. This way you will be able to avoid problems that could come in the long run.

Being sentimental and emotional can cause more harm than good in future.

9. Allow the Child to Learn From Mistake

In some cases, it is important to give the child his or her space. Allow the child to commit the common mistakes so that he or she can learn from them.

Do not be so protective but rather give the child some space to grow. Sometimes we learn best from our mistakes. You must also learn not to condemn the child for repeating a mistake. You need be patient enough not to tire correcting the child.

10. Create Time for Your Child

It is also important to let your child feel wanted. Spending time with your children and listening to them air their views will help you understand them. This will help you know where you need to come in and offer your guidance.

Holding a family meeting can be a good way to spend time with your child. Through your conversation, you will be able to instill communication skills on your child.

# 7 Useful Tips on Practicing Positive Discipline

We are going to look at how you as a parent can help your child grow into a disciplined citizen. To discipline simply means to teach or guide your child. Parents have different ways of disciplining their children.

There are those who believe that punishment is the best way to teach a child discipline. However, punishment cannot at any time be said to be discipline.

In fact, punishment can lead to more problems because rather than correcting behavior, the child may become more resentful or even feel unloved. How then can you practice positive discipline or rather positive guidance?

Read on to find out more about this here. You will get to learn that threats, yelling and other negative approaches to a bad behavior are not so necessary in correcting behavior.

1. Find Out the Reasons for Bad Behavior

From research, children will always try to be right. This means that when the child behaves in a different way, there must be a reason as to why he or she is doing so.

Sometimes it is just simple misunderstanding. Your child may be so sure that he or she is doing the right thing but you have a different opinion.

It is therefore very important to understand why the child is behaving in a certain way and then go ahead to treat the cause of the problem. Maybe the child saw some other people older than him or her doing whatever she or he is doing and believed it to be right.

Remember children will in most cases try to imitate those ahead of them.

2. Be Calm When Correcting Behavior

Another important thing that will help you teach discipline to your children is staying calm while correcting wrong behavior. This can be easier said than done but imagine you can!

You only need to ensure that you take time to cool down if you are angry with the child. Never correct your child when you are angry because you may aggravate the situation.

If you yell at the child, you should expect that the child will take the yelling as an acceptable behavior and you should not be surprised when the child yells at you at some point.

3. Be Consistent With the Rules Set

It is very easy to set rules for your children but it may not be as easy to stick to these rules. If you are not consistent with the rules, the child will take that he or she can break the rules sometimes and go scot free.

You must therefore follow rules to the latter. However, you must be patient with the child when he or she breaks the rules from time to time. He or she will eventually learn if you just maintain the consistence.

You should never assume that a child will abandon a behavior with time by itself but rather you must continue correcting the behavior.

4. Create A Good Relationship With The Child

A very important thing while teaching discipline is to try and be friends with your child. Keeping close to your children will help you learn what they like and what they do not like.

This way, you will be able to know how to approach them positively when they have gone wrong. If you have a close relationship with your children, they will always want to please you.

This is why they will respond positively when you try to correct their mistakes because they do not want you angry at any point. They will always want to follow what you tell them so that they maintain the relationship.

5. Pay Attention To The Do’s And Not The Don’ts

Rather than telling the child whet not to do at all times, it is important to focus on what the child should do in different situation. The don’ts will therefore just fall in place. It is easier for the child to remember what to do than what not to do.

6. Concentrate On The Positive Behavior

No one wants somebody who keeps telling them of the bad things they are doing and never appreciating the positive things. We all want to be appreciated which motivates us to do things even in a better way than we did before.

Children are also the same just that they are less in years. You can therefore focus on their positive behavior. If you praise them for behaving well, you can be sure they will want to do it again and again.

If you ignore a certain behavior, it is more likely that it will die with time. You can therefore let the bad behavior die without having to comment about it by focusing more on the positive side.

7. Encourage the Child When They Do Good Things

It is always advisable that the or some parents, these rules just exist o and congratulate them when they do well.

In as much as the children may be wrong most of the times, when they do good things; it is the responsibility of the parent to show them that they appreciate and that they have pleased them.

This will build a good rapport between the child and the parent. It will also encourage the child to improve on their overall behavior.

# 9 Common Discipline Mistakes That Parents Always Make

So we saw that as a parent, you have the duty of shaping the behavior of your child. This is in an effort to ensure that your kids grow into disciplined and responsible adult citizens.

However, parents sometimes get it wrong while still thinking that they are on the right track. Trying to get your child disciplined is definitely a daunting task, but you can still achieve it if you know how to do it right.

We are going to focus on the common mistakes that most parents make while trying to instill discipline in their children and offer some advice on what is expected of the parent as far as discipline is concerned.

It is important to know that these mistakes are common in many parents and so you should not blame yourself for being wrong at any one point. You just need to take the corrective measure and learn from your mistake.

Some of these mistakes include:

1. Setting Rules That You Cannot Stick To

Parents are very good at setting rules. However, for some parents, these rules just exist on paper. Children are very good in imitating what the parent does. If you set rules and do not follow them, you should definitely stop expecting much from your children.

It is therefore very important for every parent to set rules and ensure that he or she sticks with them. For example, if you tell your child to sleep at a certain time, make sure that your child is always in bed at that set time. Consistency is necessary for making the child understand what is expected of them.

2. Telling Children a Lie to Avoid Them

Most parents are also tempted to tell a lie to the child when they do not want to offer what they are asking for or they do not want to reveal certain information. The problem that follows is when the child finds you doing exactly what you told him or her not to do.

For example, you tell your child that you do not buy biscuits when he or she asks for them because they are harmful to the teeth. Later on, the child finds you eating them and gets confused.

The best thing is to have a way of explaining the reason why you are not going to do something for the child. If you want to earn trust from your children, make sure they do not find you dishonest at any one point.

3. Lack of Respect for the Child

Parents do expect that their children will automatically respect them. However, some forget that children also require being respected. Respect does not differentiate between ages.

Everybody requires respect whether young or old. If you yell at your child or speak to him or her in harsh words, he or she will feel that you do not respect the fact that he or she is also a human being.

It is therefore very important to show respect to the child if you want the child to reciprocate. Life is a two-way traffic and what you want to be done to you, it is essential that you do it to others. Try to be gentle to the child.

4. Reacting To the Mistake of the Child While In Bad Moods

While you try to correct the child while you are angry, you may end up making things worse than they are. Just like you should not drink and drive, you should also avoid those things that can never rhyme. You cannot correct a mistake while angry, but rather you are going to make the situation worse.

The best thing to do when your child has wronged you and you know you are angry is to wait until you cool down. This way you will be able to correct the mistake in a sane manner.

5. Lengthy Explanations of the Situation to the Child

Some parents sometimes talk to their children like they were adults. Giving long lectures to your child when he or she has done a mistake may not help much. This is because the child will not be able to take much of the things you say, unlike an adult.

It is very important therefore to be short and clear while correcting your child. Try to make the things easy between you and the child by using a positive way of correcting him or her. Children easily lose track if you get into too many details and lack interest as well.

6. Negative Approach

We saw it that when trying to shape the behavior of your child, you should concentrate on the positive side and eventually the upraised behavior will die by itself. Some parents correct their child by always concentrating on the negative side of things. Most of them will try to tell the child not to do something rather than telling them what to do.

It is important that when instilling discipline on your child, always tell the child what to do rather than what not to do. Focusing on the positive side of things is a good way to ensure that your child gets to remember what to do when faced with the same situation.

7. Punishing the Child Rather Than Discipline

Some parents have it all wrong that discipline means punishment. Punishment is not always welcomed, and it may even make things worse. Just like some employees will not take punishment positively and will always try to revenge, children also doo not always take punishment as a way to help correct their behavior. In fact, some may become more stubborn.

It is, therefore, important to know the right means to use while trying to correct the behavior of the child. It would be better if you let your child sit down and then you can explain what you do not like about his or her behavior. You may also offer a guideline on what it is you expect from him or her.

8. Not Being a Role Model

It is very easy to discipline a child if you are doing what is right. Children will love to follow your example. However, some parents want to correct their children but they will not practice what they say. Ever heard of preaching water and taking wine? Some parents will do exactly that.

It is very important to practice what you tell your children to do. If you tell them not to lie, do not be the first person to tell lies. Let the children learn by your example of a good role model.

9. Applying the Same Technique on All Your Children

Another mistake that parents do is to assume that all their children can thrive on the same technique while trying to instill discipline. Children are usually different and so that which works on one child may never work on another no matter how hard you insist.

It is essential that you understand each and every one of your child. Understand that each of them is different and therefore you must look for alternative means to handle each one of them as far as discipline issues are concerned.

10 – Striking A Balance Between Positive Discipline & Punishment

As a parent, you may be wondering how effective positive discipline can be when you are dealing with teenagers in particular. These teen kids will be cheeky once in a while and however much you wish to apply positive discipline on them, the more you will be inclined in punishing them.

What should a parent do in this case?

A friend told me recently that he uses both methods to shape his children. I asked him why he did that and the answer he had almost convinced me that both approaches could go hand in hand.

Well, he said that both positive reinforcement and discipline have a place and that they could be complimentary in certain situations.

I feel that it is up to the parent to know what to do with their children. What I would advise is that a parent should not be inclined too much in the negative discipline.

We are all human and once in a while, we get irked by the behaviors of our children. In that mix-up of emotions, a parent could find themselves using negative discipline on their children.

The point of contention here is how often does a parent use negative discipline?

And after one has punished their children, do they take time to talk to the children and let them know that their behavior may have annoyed the parent, hence the reaction?

What is your aim in punishing a child?

Are you after correcting their wayward behaviors or you are acting out of rage? This should guide you as a parent on what is the right path to follow.

It would also depend on the kind of children that you are dealing with. There are kids who will not transgress often. There are those children who will be into it all the time. Striking a balance between positive discipline and punishment should be a parent’s ultimate motivation.

As a parent, one is definitely trying all their best to discourage negative behaviors from the children. In this regard, you may want to think about these 3 factors that have to be considered in the balance between negative discipline and positive reinforcement of our children’s behavior:

  • Parents must always be aware of the reward and the punishment system. When your child does not behave to your expectations, there are always consequences to the same.

  • Before a parent takes any action in reaction to the behaviors of their children, they must be aware of the consequences of their actions. What are the perceived rewards that the kid will get out of your positive reinforcement?
    And when you do punish the children, what is their reaction? Do they for sure benefit from the actions that you take to deter their negative behavior?

  • As a parent, you should always be in a position to exercise judgment before you take any actions that you will do. This ensures that all the reactions that you give to the behaviors of your children will always be justified and that the children will thereafter appreciate the actions. This is one of the best ways to build trust with your children.

# Final Conclusion

It is our hope that this guide impacts positively on you and your children. There are a lot more to learn when it comes to parenting and other issues that have to do with the modern children.

As a parent, you have a responsibility to take care of your children and ensure that they are getting a good environment to grow as citizens who are respected and responsible.

You are likewise encouraged to go back to this guide whenever you find yourself being indecisive again. Try a different technique from the ones you have already applied to help break the cycle.

After all, this guide is created not for one-time reading but to serve as a guide that you can go back to each time you would have to make difficult choices.

It takes a good amount of courage to become a decisive person and when you are in that place, you can bravely take on the world and live the life you have always dreamed of.