17 positive discipline parenting tools that can help make your parenting journey a little easier.
Learn how to manage the energy shift in your home when you’re about to start yelling because your little one is on the verge of a tantrum over the color of a cup.
I’m a mom who used to yell, and heck I sometimes still do, but I’m trying to be a lot simple better using these positive discipline techniques.
I’ve been studying positive parenting from various resources over the past few years and I’ve had some amazing luck putting it into play at home.
I’m telling you, my parenting style has transformed and my children rarely throw tantrums and have a bad attitude, and there are so many success stories like mine out there.
Enjoy these peaceful, gentle and positive parenting tips that use the encouragement model and encourage creative cooperation backed by years of real-world research that will help keep the peace inside your home and help your raise capable kids and help you through you toughest parenting issues.
What Is Positive Discipline?
Traditional methods of discipline focus on poor behavior and identify the child as a terrible child. When a child is repeatedly told that he is a terrible child, he accepts it and does not modify his behavior for the better.
When using the positive parenting approach, you not only define the rule but also explain why that rule is important which is something I learned within positive parenting solutions.
When the positive parenting approach is used, children do not obey orders based on fear of punishment but because they understand why they need to perform the task at hand and its importance.
Parents who use this approach layout rules and consequences and often discuss them with their children. Most importantly, any consequences that are discussed should be followed through. Not telling your child why you need to follow certain disciplinary actions causes communication gaps.
One of the most important aspects of positive parenting is actively listening to the children. Trying to understand their thoughts so you can better understand the reason behind their actions and correct any behavior issues from the core.
17 Simple Positive Parenting Techniques
1. Regulating Your Own Reactions
Sometimes when a situation is out of control, remember the things you can control, and that is YOUR actions and reactions.
Children copy your behavior, so if you can regulate your reaction in a positive and calm way, your children will be able to see that this is the right way to handle situations.
If you are constantly flying off the handle and yelling, your kids will yell back at you, especially if you have a strong-willed child. I know how difficult it is to not get angry sometimes when your children continue the behavior that is defiant.
My trick is to turn away from my child and take a deep breath. Remind me that this child is just a child and he does not know much better, I need to teach him how to handle his emotions.
No good decisions have ever come out of an angry outburst from myself!
2. Treat Your Children How You Wish They Would Treat Themselves (Modeling)
The way that you talk to your child will greatly affect the way that your child will talk to themselves. If you use harsh discipline and harsh words, then your child’s inner voice will have the same tone.
If you discipline your children harshly, they will never learn proper self–discipline.
Discipline means “to train by instruction and exercise” while punishing means “to inflict a penalty for (an offence, fault, etc.)” or “to handle severely or roughly.”
Research Gate states that harsh discipline results in worse behavior.
So basically, if you are constantly punishing your child in a negative way, they will learn to talk to themselves negatively, act out harder and essentially never learn self-discipline.
3. Rewards Are A No-No
Rewards are a very common way for parents to make their children feel good about accomplishing a goal. Even though the word reward sounds like a positive thing, giving out rewards to children can be harmful.
As parents, our big portion of the job runs about 18 years, and sometimes beyond that.
Rewards offer a short-term gain, but our goal as parents is to teach long-term lessons that really stick with our kids.
Studies show that children who get rewards for completing activities, show less interest in that activity than children who are not offered a reward for completion.
4. Avoid Time Outs
Timeouts are a form of banishment and are most definitely a negative parenting approach.
They cause the child to feel humiliated and small. Not only do timeouts deteriorate the relationship between you and your child, but they also don’t teach the child a lot about the situation that got them into that time out.
For more information about why time-outs do not work, read this really great article from aha parenting.
This is also a great video on using positive parenting techniques on 2-year-olds specifically. We all know 2 is a particularly interesting age!
5. Strengthen Your Relationships Daily
Every night before I head to bed, I reflect on my day and how my children reacted to me and how I reacted to them that day.
If something did not go the way I had wanted it to, I will put it in my planner as an action step to complete the next day with my child.
My child will say things such as I hate you and I wish you didn’t live in the house when I set a boundary that may seem unfair to my child.
Those words cut me deep, I suppose I am a very sensitive person and it is so hard for me to realize that my child is 6 years old and doesn’t really know what he is saying.
It is now my responsibility to react in a positive way and diffuse this situation. During my daily reflection time, if I believe I could have done better in a situation like this, I try to talk to my child about it the next day. Talking and listening to each other strengthens our bond.
6. Setting Limits
Setting limits is crucial for children to understand the consequences of their actions. Authoritarian parents set boundaries, and if their children disobey, they are punished or scolded. In permissive parenting, parents are hesitant to intervene when their children cross the line because they fear losing their children’s affection.
When it comes to positive parenting, we set limits and take action if our children go beyond them. The only difference is that it is carried out with empathy. Children are not taught to feel terrible on purpose, but they do comprehend that their actions resulted in a consequence and that repeating the behavior will result in the same outcome.
We do not embarrass them when they confront the consequences; instead, we show understanding and tenderness.
See also: 9 Easy Anger Games For Kids
7. Offering choices
Another positive discipline tools that works well to avoid power struggles, especially with young children, is to give them options.
“Would you like to get ready for bed right now or in 10 minutes?”
“Would you like to drink milk from the red or blue cups?”
Make sure you provide options that you are comfortable with. Don’t provide an option if you can’t live with it.
Giving children options makes them feel in charge and as if they made the decision themselves. Resistance and power conflicts are reduced.
8. Using A Firm Voice – Calmly
According to Dr. Jane Nelson, good discipline should be both strong and kind.
You mean it when you say your child can’t do something. You empathize with them if they reply aggressively or with tears in their eyes. That is what it means to be firm and kind.
If your child objects to the spoon being taken away, you might remark, “I know you were having fun (ego state) pounding the spoon on the table.” But I’m taking away the spoon because it’s for eating, not banging.”
Your message reaches your child when you are nice and firm. Because your child does not feel understood and is listening to you from a position of fear, yelling will never get your point across.
When you’re angry and your body is racing with adrenaline, can you teach anybody a positive lesson? No, and when you shout, that’s exactly what occurs. As a result, screaming is useless.
9. Working Together
I prefer to behavior a family meeting once a week, inspired by all of the positive parentingbooks I’ve read, to discuss the problems we experience as a result of each other’s actions.
Sibling rivalry is currently the most talked-about issue. It takes a lot of effort to help children learn to live together. In some ways, it is unfair for them to have others invade their territory without their permission and do things they don’t like.
It is despised by everybody. As a result, we discuss the sibling behaviors that upset the children during such gatherings. We also establish limits so that everyone is aware of what is expected of them.
This gathering is not intended to be a finger-pointing session. The accusation can be moderated by the parent.
We also include children by asking them questions such as, “What do you think we should do if this circumstance arises again?”
Then they come up with their own ideas, which we record. And then resolve to try to put these ideas into action in the future.
10. Find Root Cause Of The Problem
One advantage of the above-mentioned family meetings is that it allows children to express themselves. When you actually listen to what they’re saying, you’ll realize why they’re acting the way they are.
Instead of criticizing or labelling a kid, we may talk to her about why she does what she does. You can talk to your child about finding solutions that are acceptable to both of you.
Because kids understand that their flaws could be addressed and improved, this alternative kind of discipline encourages children’s to acquire a development mentality.
11. Label Emotions
Humans have a natural need to be heard. Consider the situation when you are experiencing unpleasant emotions and no one is willing to listen to you.
Furthermore, you will be condemned for being sad or angry. How does it make you feel?
That is exactly what we do to children.
Without listening to what they have to say, we label children as selfish, bad, attention-seekers, and so on.
12. Stop Shaming
Shaming, threatening, bribery, or other physical punishments are not encouraged in positive discipline. Instead, we take advantage of every chance to address children’s behavior through education.
Both the child and the parent are on the same team in good parenting. When we are angry by a children’s wrongdoing, we feel compelled to punish them.
Instead, turn each blunder into a chance to teach and help others. Instead of continually telling them what they shouldn’t do, tell them what they should do.
13. Be Consistant
Consistency in your expectations encourages children to follow the rules more consistently.
Before you say no to something, consider whether you truly mean it. When you alter your opinion in response to a children’s complaint, they learn that you could be influenced.
So choose your battles carefully.
If you don’t feel comfortable breaching some norms, stand firm when they put you to the test. It sends a confused message to children if you make decisions based on your mood.
14. Choose Your Words Wisely
When we call a child a “bad girl” or a “nasty boy,” they acquire sentiments of humiliation and unworthiness. Rather of informing them that their actions are wrong, we tell them that they are horrible people which is a small step into the direction of low self-esteem and it’ll only get worse once they have real life experiences.
These remarks can have far-reaching consequences that can last a lifetime.
No human being can be nice or evil indefinitely. We all do good and bad things, whether we realize it or not. When kids grow up and face real world strategies, their emotions of unworthiness follow them about and prevent them from reaching their full potential.
15. Use Consequences Correctly
There are both natural and logical consequences in the positive discipline philosophy.
Whether you have a rebellious teenager or a three-year-old toddler the best way to set up consequences is to make sure the punishment fits the crime.
16. Get Down To Their Level
You want to catch their attention first when disciplining children. It’s much more difficult to get if you stand up and shout at the top of your lungs.
Getting down on a children’s level and staring him in the eye is the greatest approach to gain his attention. You don’t have to shout since you’re so near to them. The child feels more secure and attached to you as a result. As a result, you’ll get a better answer.
Your voice is heard when you yell, but your message is not and unfortunately for many of us we have to go through this learning experience in order to change and get a good grip on these important life skills.
17. Trust Your child
If you have two, three, or even 10 children, treat them all as individuals. Interact with each of them on a regular basis, even if it’s only for five minutes.
You need to know who your child is and what his difficulties are because you need to know who he is. You can only understand the intrinsic motivation if you communicate successfully with him.
What Is Positive Discipline and Positive Parenting
To recap, positive discipline gives you the parenting skills that help you creates strong relationships with your children through words of encouragement rather than harsh discipline. Positive parenting creates happier families and helps you raise successful kids.
To use these positive discipline parenting tools you start off with regulating your own reactions followed by treating your children how you wish they would treat themselves and to build communication to raise empowered young people .
Saying positive words such as YES more than NO and avoiding time outs are both effective parenting tools that can really strengthen your relationship in tough moments.
Setting limits with empathy in roughhousing situations rather than yelling at your children to stop beating each other up will likely help your children to listen and comply with your request due to an understanding/reason of the rule.
Use these positive disciple parenting tools and you’re sure to see behavior change in positive ways.
Regulating your own emotions is a powerful foundation builder which can help you manage your child’s misbehavior and help you become a problem solver which is a skill that is effective long-term.