Discipline and Positive Guidance

“Connection before correction” is a phrase that we often read in positive discipline literature. It is when we feel like hugging our children the least, that they probably need our hugs the most. Learning how to effectively use consequences is important. When consequences are related to actions, children can internalize them and make important connections.

We teach parents that when deciding how to respond to a child’s behavior, they can ask themselves two sets of questions:
1. How does my response feel for my child?
2. How does my response feel for me, the parent?

To help you think about it more, here are some more questions: What will this action teach my child? What effect will this action have on our parent-child relationship? What effect will this action have on my child’s self-esteem?

And finally, we ask ourselves if the technique we have chosen will be something that the child will do to/for themselves as an adult. We want our guidance strategies to teach children great long-term skills.

Discipline? Punishment? How do we define these terms and what are the goals behind each? Are our goals short-term or long-term? Do we want to teach our child how to behave into the future? How we want them to behave as teenagers and adults? Or, do we just want to quickly extinguish an unwanted behavior? “Positive discipline” is model that encourages parents to work in cooperation with their children, and, if we can practice this model most of the time then our children learn important skills for self-regulation.

Five Criteria for Positive Discipline:
1. Is it kind and firm at the same time? (Respectful and encouraging)
2. Does it help children feel a sense of belonging and significance? (Connection)
3. Is it effective long-term? (Punishment may work short-term and also have negative long- term results. We believe striving for positive long-term results outweigh quick short-term responses.)
4. Does it teach valuable social and life skills for good character? (Respect, concern for others, problem-solving, accountability, contribution, cooperation)
5. Does it invite children to discover how capable they are, and to use their personal power in constructive ways? (Autonomy)

The list above is from Positive Discipline.

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Here are research-based resources, links, and books on Parenting.










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