(Written by Eric Hartman) No one wants to discipline their child, but discipline is essential to healthy growth and development. Your child has to understand what is acceptable behavior and that there are consequences for unacceptable behavior. Here are some important dos and don’ts for disciplining your child with positive parenting.
Discipline Techniques for Positive Parenting
- Do Remain Calm
When your child is testing your patience, it’s easy to become upset. Losing your temper, however, is only going to make the situation worse. Remain calm, and keep a cool, even-toned voice. Do not raise your voice or yell, because your children will stop listening to what you’re saying, and all they’ll get is that you are angry at them. And if you’re yelling, they’ll yell, too. Speaking in a calm manner helps keep the entire situation under control.
- Don’t Get Physical
Some parents swear by spanking, and some parents take corporal punishment to the extreme, where it’s actually abusive. Spanking might be the old-fashioned way of disciplining a child, but it’s just not recommended today. You shouldn’t use physical force to discipline your child, because it will only cause them to fear you. It will not cause them to respect you or behave for the right reasons. You shouldn’t use fear or pain to teach your child a lesson, ever.
- Do Be Consistent
With discipline, it’s incredibly important to remain consistent. You need to stick to your rules and punishments, because wavering will confuse your child. If you’re inconsistent, your child won’t learn where the boundaries are, because they change. Consistency will make things easier for you and your child, because it makes it clear for them what is acceptable and what is not. They also learn that if you warn them of a punishment, you’re serious about it.
- Don’t Give In
Sometimes, kids throw such huge fits that it’s easier to just give in and let them get what they want. Never do this; never give in. If your child is throwing a tantrum and you give in to them, they’ll try it every time. If you give in even once, they will think that if they just cry louder or make a bigger scene, then you will eventually give in like you did last time. Not giving in is essential to remaining consistent. You show that you will not tolerate tantrums or be swayed by them.
- Do Talk About It
If your child is disciplined, the punishment itself isn’t enough to make them learn to do differently next time. You need to talk to your child about things when their punishment is over, by looking them in their eyes and speaking calmly. Tell them what exactly it was that they did wrong, and why they are not allowed to do it. Tell them what you expect them to do instead, and what will happen if they don’t listen. Be as concise as possible. Make the lesson short, because a long lecture is not going to sink in. When you get to the point clearly, they’ll understand better.
Eric Hartman is an expert for discipline techniques and loves to discuss ways to raise happy, confident children with parents for positive parenting.