The Most Effective Positive Discipline Techniques for Your Child

I’m old enough to recall how the cane was used as a form of punishment in school. My father is old enough to believe that prohibiting corporal punishment in schools has resulted in today’s ill-behaved children. With all of this as my background, there was a moment when I would have been better suited to writing on how to discipline your child in a bad manner. 

What went wrong? Thankfully, my wife demonstrated to me various positive techniques to discipline. In addition, I was eager to study. 

What hasn’t changed is that children have a plethora of issues with impulses and emotions that swing from sad to happy to furious in a matter of seconds. With stress, worry, lack of sleep, and stimulants like sugar and coffee in our diets, we’re not that different from adults. 

Related: SELF DISCIPLINE AT A HIGH LEVEL

Punishment as Discipline?

What this means is that we usually take the easy path when a child misbehaves and punish them. Punishment may solve an isolated problem, but it’s not really teaching the kids anything useful in the long term.

Probably it’s time for me to be clear about what I mean by punishment and discipline as these terms are often used interchangeably, but they are quite different.

Discipline VS. Punishment

As a form of punishment, we inflict pain or suffering on our children. The term “discipline” refers to the act of instructing. They’re not the same thing, yet you’ll observe that teachers, parents, and coaches frequently mix them together. 

As parents, we must set clear goals for our children to learn. It’s a long-term strategy—the best use of our time and energy is to focus on techniques that will have the greatest long-term influence on our children. 

It’s easier to choose the optimal method if you’re clear on what you want to accomplish. The better we respond when our children misbehave or do not follow our instructions, the better the results will be.

Related: 9 Personal Development Success Factors

3 Positive Discipline Strategies for Your Child

Please bear with me since I understand that many of the individuals who read these posts do not always have children who are impulsive.

In our martial arts classes, we’ve had a lot of youngsters that were the polar opposite. They were unable to concentrate, were hyperactive, and were obnoxious to the other youngsters.

The simple approach is to expel their children from class or to penalize the child with penalties such as time outs and burpees. Yes, it was tempting to do everything, but at our club, we believe in pulling you up rather than pushing you down.

This suggests that building trust and confidence, which is damaged by repeated sanctions, is a long-term advantage.

Here are the discipline strategies we used to build trust and confidence with these hyperactive kids.

1. Patience

The first method for constructive discipline is to just be patient. The more patient you are, the better your chances of getting results are. Remember how I said we needed to establish trust and connect? With patience, you’ll be able to achieve this aim.

As a coach, I wasn’t always the best fit for this position, but we had other coaches in the club who could fill in. As a parent, you may not have this luxury, so it’s critical to identify and praise any advances you notice. 

Related: Tips to Help You Be a Better Parent

2. Redirection

Redirection is the second approach we employ. It’s critical to remove “no” from the equation when using a redirection. Alternatives are a fantastic option.

Consider the following scenario: you’re in a restaurant with your child who is wailing. The difficult part is getting your child to stop crying long enough for you to bond with them. Most parents have soothing tactics, which are more likely to be successful if you practice them with your child.

“Your decision to shout and cry in public is not a good one,” you can say in the first moment of calm. It’s best if you say, “Dad.” “How can I obtain some ice cream?” This can be replaced with a more relevant alternative.

The difficulty with being calm and redirecting is that we must be clear-headed, focused, and fully engaged in the situation at hand.

If you’re on your phone, talking with friends or family, thinking about work or the bills, you’ll miss this opportunity to discipline in a way that has long-term benefits.

3. Repair and Ground Rules

Repairing and enforcing ground norms is the third positive discipline technique. Once you’ve presented the better alternative and it’s been chosen, you have the opportunity to correct this behavior in order to reduce its occurrence or, better yet, to prevent it from occurring again.

By establishing suitable ground rules, you can assist your child to improve their conduct in the long run.

It’s these ground rules that help you correct the poor choices of your child and direct the behavior that you want to see.

Related: The “Terrible Twos”: 5 Survival Tips for Parents

Consequences Versus Ultimatums

When I was a kid, I was punished. My parents worked long hours in a busy business, so ultimatums were their go-to strategy. “If you do it again, you’ll be grounded for a week,” or “If I catch you doing X, you’ll go to bed hungry.” 

In retrospect, this worked to a point. On the other hand, I recall more of the ultimatums than the joyful days. Through trial and error with my own children, I’ve discovered that punishments are more effective while maintaining trust. 

What to Do When Ground Rules Get Broken?

When the ground rules are broken, the focus is on the consequences.

When a hyperactive pupil breaks the ground rules in a martial arts lesson. They’d lose a turn in a game or get stuck at the rear of a line. We don’t want to put the youngster in a bad situation by isolating them. On the other hand, clear ground rules and commensurate sanctions should be in place.

Yes, there are moments when we want to kick a student out of the class, club, or even the world. Patience, as well as probably impulse control, is crucial in this situation. You can sustain trust with an attainable consequence, and you’ll be more likely to get the long-term behavior you want.

We’d occasionally hear from parents that little Kevin had been misbehaving at home with his sister or something along those lines. Because he enjoys martial arts training, the parent would discipline Kevin by withdrawing him from the martial arts class.

We believe that doing so would remove Kevin from a situation in which he is acting well. Removing him from this situation is likely to sabotage the transformation you want to see. When he returns to class and loses all of his progress, he may feel embarrassed.

Alternatives to Punishment

Another alternative is to instruct Kevin to write a letter to his sister in which he apologizes for his actions and explains how he intends to behave in the future.

If your youngster is too little to write, apologize in person. There is some value in pre-framing or practicing the apology with your child before they give it to the intended person in order for it to feel genuine.

Expect them to have no idea what the ground rules are or what you’re thinking! With some practice, it will be clearer to your youngster and better received. “X is the behavior I did, Y is what I should have done, and Z is my promise to you for how I’m going to act in the future,” you can rehearse. You can substitute the necessary actions for XYZ.

Another alternative is to instruct Kevin to write a letter to his sister in which he apologizes for his actions and explains how he intends to behave in the future.

If your youngster is too little to write, apologize in person. There is some value in pre-framing or practicing the apology with your child before they give it to the intended person in order for it to feel genuine.

Expect them to have no idea what the ground rules are or what you’re thinking! With some practice, it will be clearer to your youngster and better received. “X is the behavior I did, Y is what I should have done, and Z is my promise to you for how I’m going to act in the future,” you can rehearse. You can substitute the necessary actions for XYZ.

There are groups that you can chat with for help. Family Lives UK has the aim of ensuring that all parents have somewhere to turn before they reached a crisis point. The NSPCC also provides a useful guide to positive parenting that you can download.[1]

Bottom Line

So there you have it: three insights on positive discipline tactics to employ with your child. It’s all about you in the first one! Be patient, mindful of your surroundings, and consider what is best in the long run. To put it another way, stay away from ultimatums and punishment.

The second way of discipline is to utilize a redirect, then repair, and repeat (ground rules) as a three-step process.

You must be totally engaged with your child in order to use these positive disciplining tactics. Being impulsive again destroys trust, and you lose some of the benefits you’ve both worked so hard for.

Finally, consequences are preferable to punishment. Also, avoid humiliating at all costs, especially in public.

I hope you found this blog helpful, and remember that correcting bad behavior takes less effort than being proactive and encouraging good behavior through rewards, pleasure, and happy emotions.

Reference:

  1. NSPCC Learning: Positive parenting

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