Finding a positive way to discipline your children can be challenging. Nobody has the right answer and every situation is different. However, there’s no harm in turning to experts for advice or turning to friends and fellow parents for support. Parenting is a journey and most parents have similar goals for their children. Here are 3 tips for positive discipline in the home from experts.
Understanding The Meaning Behind Their Behavior
Naomi Aldort, the author of “Raising Our Children, Raising Ourselves,” says that children want to behave well. She says if they seem to be missing the mark, there is usually a valid reason. “The most important [thing] is to realize that whatever a child does, we may label bad, [but really] the child is doing the best he can. It’s our job as parents to find our why [he is] doing it,” says Aldort. “Once we know the valid root of the behavior, we can easily remove the cause or heal the emotions, and the child won’t be driven to behave in that way anymore.”
Sometimes us parents should ask ourselves if our children are acting a certain way as a result of something we are doing. Are they acting out for attention? Can you make corrections to your behavior that will influence your child to behave better? Think about what you can do to satisfy your child’s needs. “A lot of what we expect of children is unreasonable,” says Aldort.
Focus On Controlling Yourself Instead Of Just your Child
Sometimes it’s hard to keep your cool in the heat of the moment. It’s hard to stay calm after your child throws pudding all over the kitchen that you just spent two hours cleaning. Dr. Katharine C. Kersey, author of “The 101s: A Guide to Positive Discipline,” says that parents should model types of behavior that they want their children to pick up on. Children are easily influenced, especially by their parents. Don’t handle yelling by yelling or hitting by hitting. “We should not do anything in front of [our kids] that we don’t want them to do.” Although this can be hard, it’s important in raising respectful and happy children. Sometimes it’s OK to count to 10 in a stressful situation that might push you over the edge or walking away from the situation and taking a deep breath so you can return when you’re cooled down to handle the situation calmly and rationally.
Jim Fay, the founder of the organization Love and Logic, agrees. “Anger and frustration feed misbehavior,” he says.
Be Consistent With Your Expectations
Consistency is always a good idea when it comes to parenting. Being inconsistent can lead to children walking all over their parents or rebelling. Aldort says that parents often overlook a certain behavior in the hope that it will pass. She says that it will certainly not just pass. If you child bites another child, for instance, you should hold his arm, and tell him that his behavior is unacceptable. If he continues, then it is time to remove him from the situation.
Children often try to test the limits by arguing with the rules. In these situations, Fay suggests neutralizing negotiations by repeating a simple phrase as often as necessary: “I love you too much to argue.”
Parents should always trust their instincts when it comes to raising their children. However, sometimes we can use a tip or two when it comes to certain aspects of parenting. If you have any advice for parents who are seeking advice on positive discipline, leave a comment below. Stay tuned for part 2 of practicing positive discipline with your children.