Positive Discipline Techniques
That work and don’t harm your child

Positive Discipline Techniques

Applying Positive Discipline Techniques to a real life can be challenging for many parents. Including me. However, with a strong will, patience, practice and dedication I think I turned this thing (discipline) into a fun, memorable and positive experience. 

Here are few great positive discipline ideas to follow that I used on a daily basis. Memorize it, print it and stick it to the fridge, use it every day and the sun will shine brighter today, tomorrow and 10 years later. I promise.

Prepare for discipline

In order for children to behave you have to set a proper environment. Our work environment is very important for our productivity and overall happiness. Would you rather work in a small, airless cubical or spacious, big windows office with some fresh flowers and view to the mountains. The same is with kids. If we provide them nice environment to be, they will more likely behave better.

UNDERSTAND why is child misbehaving is the key to positive discipline. When you know what is  bothering your child, you can help him much better. There are a lot of reasons why they are not acting the way you would like. Do not just assume that your child is BAD.  Many times I realized that it was me, who put my daughter in a bad behavior, because I: 

  • stayed on the phone too long
  • rushed the dinner
  • stayed up too late at the park.

Cheers to no more "clean your room" (well, at least not every few hours)…

ORGANIZE KIDS STUFF around the house. It will help them find their things easier on their own. They will be more encouraged to play when they clearly can see their toys. They can dress themselves easier when they can reach and pick their own clothes.  Believe me, this will be a great investment to your own sanity. Organized house=organized child=organized life.

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CHILDPROOF your house. It is natural for children to explore. They need to open, pull, grab, smash, chew, lick, jump. SO if you don't want the child to touch it - move it, lock it, hide it, sell it, give it away.

That China set you got - will not be worth the time and effort you will spend "guarding" from your newborn or toddler.

ENCOURAGE FUN THROUGH LEARNING by setting up child's environment with posters, wall pictures, maps, age appropriate interesting items. It will help them learn new things, focus on specific details, concentrate and find a hobby. It will also encourage spending time by themselves in their interesting, full of activities room.

DIVERSIFY LOCATIONS. Have certain activities only in designated areas. For example we only eat at the table or we only do crafts at the craft room/table. Stay firm and persistent and kids will know that this is the only way to do certain things.

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Positive Discipline in Action

REDIRECT! I can’t stress it enough on how important it is. Especially in public places. Every time my daughter is about to get upset I ask her to count how many pink things she can see around her.

That right away involves her into favorite activity: "counting pink" and the upcoming tantrum is gone.

Redirecting technique might not help when the child is in the middle of his worst, always try to redirect right before it gets bad.

NO - to NO's and DONT's. Positive Discipline is about positiveness. If you are positive - most likely your kids will be positive. Try to clean up your vocabulary so words like no and don't are rare in your conversations with kids.

It took me awhile to convert from 'sweetie, don't take that from your brother' into 'it's your brother's turn to play with it now'. Not only it sounds better and easier to do for a kid it also teaches sharing, taking turns. Actually, my daughter liked that "taking turns game".

TIME OUT for parents. YES. When the situation heats up, sometimes it is hard to control yourself. Leave the room, count till 10, take a shower, make yourself a coffee… whatever it takes to control yourself.

And always keep in mind: If you yell - they will, if you spank - they will, if you punish - they will. Instead, keep your mind open and creative.

Hey, how about singing a song when siblings are fighting?

It will redirect, will calm them down, song's lyrics will teach good morals and you will have a new activity involved - singing. Try it out.

Not an American Idol type (like me) get some great help.

Song to calm down

Hands on your knees, Hands on your hips.

Hands on your shoulders,  Hands blow a kiss.

Hands are friendly, Hands can help.

Sometimes it’s best, best, best, best, best

To keep your hands to yourself,

Show me how to keep your hands to yourself

NOTICE good behavior, IGNORE bad one. Children like attention. So sometimes they will try to get it through misbehavior. Ignore it. Let them learn then there is a more productive way to pay attention. After my daughter pulled my hair I told her firmly that it hurts mommy, she should not do it.  And I walked away ignoring her.  

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DON’T FORCE APOLOGIES. Forcing a child to say “I’m sorry” (when he doesn’t mean it) teaches him one bad thing - Lying. Not even mentioning being fake and embarrassed. Instead of forcing an apologies talk how injured party is feeling and that usually we say sorry, but never insist for it. Don’t forget to be a great role model, always saying sorry when the situation is right.

GIVE THEM CHOICE. Not too many. Just two. Make sure you are OK whichever your child chooses. Kids like to feel power. They love to know that they are in charge of their lives. Let them. It teaches great things.

Don't have time to cook 2 different dinners (who doe?!s) but you can still manage to give her a choice.

  • Spaghetti with meatballs is for dinner. Would you like ranch or blue cheese as your dressing for salad?

She feels important to make a decision on her dinner. She will more likely will be eating without complains.

  • Would you like to clean up your room now or after dinner?

HAVE DIALOGUES, not monologues. Lecturing and preaching works like drive-through - in and out.

Instead, ask appropriate questions to encourage the conversation.

Before we head to a public place I always have a chat with my daughter.

First, I tell her more about the place we are going and ask her opinion on how do people behave in that particular place (park, library, post office, airport).

She gets always so excited and serious about pointing out where people have to be quiet or alert or playful and respectful.

RESPECT CHILD'S PRIVACY. Never embarrass your child in front of others. Move to the side to deal with the situation. Always think of how would you feel if you would be yelled at in front of everybody (not that to be yelled in person is OK).

TALK AT EYE LEVEL. How do you like talking to a giant?  By getting at the child's level, you are sending a clear message "I am interested in what you have to say." Getting at the child's level also helps you burn those extra calories you got with the dessert.   

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Enjoy the benefits of Positive Discipline Techniques

There are no hard and fast rules to discipline our kids. To master positive discipline techniques takes time, practice and our unconditional love. And believe me, kids are like a play dough, we can shape them the way we want it, keeping the consistency of a “play dough”.

The childhood won’t be forever, it will end sooner than you know. Let’s make it happy and stress free. Let’s not waste precious moments on time-outs, punishments and long crying tantrums. 

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