Discipline doesn’t need to be mean, grumpy, or loud to be effective. You can discipline your child in a positive way and still get the teaching point across. Here are some ideas.
One of the best ways to have positive disicpline experiences is to exercise a lot of prevention. If you can prevent a situation where your child does something she shouldn’t, you prevent the conflict from ever happening. Training in Times of Non-Conflict is key here. Another key is your personal example (see Parent’s Example). You set the tone in your home. I have many other tips on prevention:
- Ask and Tell
- The Best Parenting Tool You Will Ever Have
- Be a Good Sheep
- Credit Card Parenting
- Discipline Foundations
- Discipline: Start Early
- It Starts With You
- Proactive and Directive Parenting
- Teaching Child to Come When Called
- Teach Them While Young
- Teach What Obedience Looks Like
- The All-Important “Why”
- Think Prevention First
- You Teach What You Are
Whenever you are disciplining your child, work to have empathy. Try to understand why your child did what he did. Try to understand what will help your child to refrain from repeating the mistake again. Understand what makes your child tic. What makes your child feel loved? What response will help your child improve in this situation?
I often find the most effective discipline is when I sit down with the child next to me or on my lap, put my arm around the child, and speak quietly with the child about the situation. This communicates caring and love. This opens the child up to listening to you. Facing your child head on and raising your voice can make the child angry, defensive, and scared. You want your child to listen and learn. If the child knows you care, she will be more likely to listen.
Sometimes a child really just needs a simple reminder that what he is doing is not correct and to be directed to something that is acceptable. Substitution is one great strategy. You can also use Distraction as a Discipline Tool.