Being a parent is one of the most difficult jobs there is— both mentally and physically. So much energy goes into making sure your child stays healthy, knows right from wrong, and has a solid foundation to grow up and be the best person they can be. No matter how much you love your child, there is no hiding the fact that they will push your buttons from time to time. Positive discipline is a form of parenting that can help clearly communicate appropriate behaviors and demonstrate the importance of mutual respect.
Practicing Positive Discipline
Positive discipline places importance on engaging with your child with warmth, praise, interest, and kindness. Here at Wake Forest Pediatrics, we recognize the importance of positive discipline and finding ways to communicate kindly and efficiently. To learn more about ways to practice positive discipline, continue reading.
- Be Firm But Kind
Positive discipline works as a long-term and effective parenting technique. Being firm but kind when disciplining your children helps to maintain a strong and healthy relationship. So, how can you do it? In situations when your child must be disciplined, it is important to place the focus on teaching them about wrongdoings rather than scolding them. Through this firm yet kind approach, your child will start to naturally learn right from wrong while preserving a healthy parent-child connection.
- Practice Redirecting
Tufts Medical Center describes redirection as a technique that involves changing the focus of a child’s attention from an undesirable behavior to a more positive one. Through this, a child’s behavior is disrupted and reverted to promote learning and exploration. There are two different types of redirection, physical and verbal. Which form of redirection you choose will depend on both the child’s age and the specific situation. When guiding a child in conflict, ensure you are managing your own emotions first, empathizing with your child’s feelings, and redirecting their attention in a more positive direction.
- Utilize Time-Ins
You’ve certainly heard of a time-out, but what about a time-in? Time-ins are a great method of positive discipline to help teach your child appropriate behaviors. Both time-ins and time-outs provide a break from the activity your child was doing, but the main difference is the guidance of the caregiver when giving discipline. Research For Montessori suggests implementing time-ins in the following ways:
- Remove the child from the situation
- Accompany them to a quieter, less stressful environment
- Comfort them until they are able to communicate with you
- Give language to their emotions and offer alternative ideas for handling their emotions
- If desired, let your child return to the activity
A time-in helps encourage self-regulation, maintains a positive connection to the caregiver, and respects the child and their needs.
- Be Consistent, Calm, And Brief
Conflicts with your child are inevitable, but with consistent and effective positive discipline, you can prevent them from becoming overwhelming. When we set boundaries for our children in an authoritative way, without emotional display or shouting, we begin to establish ourselves as consistent authority figures.
- Use Positive Reinforcement
An important aspect of positive discipline is positive reinforcement. How do the two differ? Positive reinforcement involves using desirable or pleasant stimuli after a positive behavior is demonstrated. By rewarding good behavior, it increases the likelihood that the child will repeat the behavior in future instances. Some examples of positive reinforcement include praise, recognition, treats, or offering a special activity.
Positive discipline is a wonderful method that puts learning at the forefront rather than punishment. The board-certified pediatricians and staff at Wake Forest Pediatrics use a comprehensive approach while focusing on teamwork and open communication with patients and parents. If you have any questions about your child’s health and development or want more ways to practice positive discipline, give us a call at 919-556-4779 or request an appointment.