Studies have already made it evident that yelling or spanking does more harm than good as a way to discipline your child. If we as parents don’t understand the most effective ways to positive parenting, children could be bearing the brunt of it in their adult life.
One of the biggest concerns that every parent in today’s age is dealing with is how to positively discipline their child. With the wisdom of positive parenting pouring in from every direction, it gets overwhelming and tricky when it actually comes to implementation. Our focus should be to build a loving and healthy environment at home, where kids know their boundaries and understand the basics of good behavior.
So, I have come up with a list of 5 very effective and feasible ways through which you can easily use to discipline your child positively.
1. Keeping your calm
The first response that starts building inside our own heads is of irritability and anger when we see our child misbehaving or simply not adhering to what was asked. So the most crucial thing to do in such a situation would be to first train ourselves to be calm. Take deep breaths, count from 1 to 10, or tell yourself to be nice and calm. Do whatever works for you, and then go ahead to address the issue. If you are approaching with unstable emotions, there are good chances you are going to regret your actions later. Your calmness will not only help you to think in a more rational way, but it will also make the child understand that difficult situations can be handled peacefully.
2. Acknowledge their emotions
Whether they really did something bad or it’s just a meltdown, it would be really helpful to first acknowledge their emotions. Hug them and cool them down. Whether they are angry, scared, crying, or simply curious, it helps to acknowledge that you are able to see and understand what they are feeling at that moment. No child is bad, many times they just don’t realize the outcome of their actions. So, once you do that you are able to enter their territory and then communicate with them in a better way.
3. Calm yet firm voice
When you know that you need to discipline your child, and they are just being stubborn or difficult even after an effective implementation of the above two points, it is necessary to communicate with them in a calm yet stern voice. Your tone needs to be firm, but there shouldn’t be anger, shaming, or blaming the kid for their behavior in your words. The kid should understand the seriousness of your message through your tone and also that he needs to adhere to it.
For many parents, punishment is the ultimate resolution to discipline their children. Though, in many scenarios, it can be avoided, in some it becomes necessary. This goes without saying that the punishment shouldn’t be harsh. For younger children, a time-out of 1 to 5 mins duration works well with many parents. You can also decide to take one of their favorite toys for a day or cut their screen time. The other important factor is for you to stick to your words and refrain from empty threats in anger. For example, if you say you will not get any screen time today but within an hour give in and allow them, they will disregard your words in the future too. Convey your message in a calm and stern voice and make sure they follow.
5. Reinforce good behavior
When we are talking of stern voices and punishments, it is also crucial to talk about rewarding good behavior. This makes them understand that it is fair to get punishments for bad behavior whereas rewards are for their good ones. Appreciating or rewarding their positive behavior plays a huge role in positively disciplining your child.
For parents, disciplining their child during tough situations where kids misbehave or argue can be quite frustrating. We know it all and still find it extremely difficult when it comes to doing it in the best way we can. But please forgive yourself. If you have yelled at your child and feel guilty later, it is a good idea to go and apologize. Kids will learn that sometimes parents do get angry but they still love them.
It will also be helpful to find the root cause or if are there any triggers for their behavior and then work on them. For example, if a child is hungry or sleepy, they tend to be irritable. Distraction might be a great way to diffuse the crisis in this case.
Keep in mind that the strategies will differ according to the age group of children but the basic approach will remain the same. Every child needs the attention of their parents and an assurance that no matter what mistake they commit we as parents are going to love them and be there for them.