17 positive discipline parenting tools that can help make your parenting journey a little easier.
Positive Discipline Parenting is not just about preventing bad behavior or punishing misbehavior. It’s about empowering your child to thrive and grow into a confident, resilient adult.
It’s challenging to raise kids in today’s world. They are constantly exposed to different kinds of pressures and expectations that can lead to stress, anxiety, and other emotional challenges.
That is why Positive Discipline Parenting is an important approach that combines two dynamic concepts with the purpose of raising happy, healthy children while also preparing them for the challenges they will face as adults.
What Is Positive Discipline?
Positive discipline is a parenting approach that encourages raising empowered and self-confident children. It is rooted in trust and empathy, and focused on teaching and learning. Don’t forget that there are things more important than discipline too.
The goal of positive discipline is to prevent and eliminate bad behavior while also promoting good behavior through guidance and support. The focus is on the child’s learning process, not on the parent’s power or authority.
The tools and concepts of positive discipline are designed to promote positive behavior and reduce the effects of stress and anxiety in your child.
See also: 5 Steps To Handle A Toddler Tantrum In Public Like A Pro
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!
See also: 10 Important Breathing Exercises For Kids To Manage Anger
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.
See also: 7 Easy Ways To Help Ungrateful Children Learn Gratitude
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.
See also: 4 Important Things You Can Do To Motivate Lazy Kids
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!
See also: How To Discipline When A Child Doesn’t Care About Consequences
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.
See also: 13 Valuable Phrases To Quickly Calm And Comfort A Crying Child
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.
See also: 16 Important Books For Kids About Sibling Rivalry
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.
See also: 5 Simple But Powerful Responses For Rude Backtalk
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.
See also: 20 Gratitude Questions For Kids [Journal Prompts]
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.
See also: Are You An Angry Mom? 6 Simple Secrets To Get Your Mommy Rage Under Control
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.
See also: Self Esteem Games For Kids And Confidence Boosting Activities
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.
See also: 11 Best Bedtime Poems For Kids To Make Bedtime Peaceful
13. Be Consistent
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.
See also: Sensory Swing Benefits For Kids Vestibular System
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.
See also: Important Breathing Exercises For Kids To Manage Anger.
Applying the Tools of Positive Discipline to Your Child
There are a number of positive discipline tools you can use at home to help your child develop a positive and healthy relationship with themselves and others. To help your child build self-confidence, you can use praise, encouragement, and recognition.
By regularly recognizing your child for the good things they do, you help them gain confidence in themselves and their abilities. To help your child build resilience, you can use the tool of problem solving. By helping your child learn how to identify, prevent, and solve their own problems, you help them build resilience and a positive outlook on life.
For healthy relationships, you can use the tool of communication. By encouraging open and honest communication between you and your child, you help them develop positive relationships with loved ones.
To help your child manage stress and frustration, you can use the tool of self-regulation.
By helping your child develop healthy coping mechanisms, you provide them with the tools they need to deal with the everyday challenges of life.
How to Help Your Child Build Resilience
Resilient children are able to navigate life’s challenges with ease. They bounce back quickly from negative experiences, and they are able to maintain a positive outlook on life even in difficult situations.
You can help your child build resilience and a positive outlook on life by using the following positive discipline tools and strategies:
- Set Limits: While helping your child build a strong sense of self, it is also important to set clear and consistent boundaries. This will help your child develop a good relationship with their own needs and learn how to manage their desires, impulses, and behavior.
- Manage and Reduce Anxiety: Anxiety is a growing problem among children and teenagers. Although it is normal for children to experience anxiety from time to-time, it is important to manage and reduce this as much as possible. Anxiety interferes with learning, as well as healthy relationships, problem solving, and life skills such as communication and self-regulation.
- Build Positive Relationships: Building positive relationships between your child and others is important. This includes both your child’s relationship with themselves and their relationship with the people around them. Help your child build strong relationships by promoting open and honest communication and building healthy relationships between your child and their peers.
How to Help your child build healthy relationships
Healthy relationships are an important part of raising healthy children. But how can you encourage this in your child?
In order for your child to build healthy relationships, they must first have a healthy relationship with themselves.
This includes recognizing their strengths and weaknesses and having a positive relationship with their emotions and desires.
Helping your child build healthy relationships involves encouraging open and honest communication, setting boundaries, and modeling healthy relationships yourself.
How to help your child handle stress and frustration
Some degree of stress and frustration is normal in all children, but it can become problematic when it becomes excessive.
- Help your child learn how to identify, prevent, and solve their own problems. This will teach them important life skills and help them build resilience and a positive outlook on life.
- Provide your child with a calm and encouraging environment. This will help them avoid unnecessary stress and frustration, and improve their ability to learn and focus.
- Help your child identify and understand their emotions. Emotions are a normal part of life, but they can be a source of stress and frustration if your child is unable-or unwilling-to recognize and understand them.
Positive Discipline Parenting is not just about preventing bad behavior or punishing misbehavior. It’s about empowering your child to thrive and grow into a confident, resilient adult. There is no one-size-fits-all strategy for raising children.
Every child is different, and what works for one family may not work for another. There are many tools and techniques you can use to implement positive discipline in your family.
No matter what techniques you use, it is important to remember that your child is an individual, and they deserve to be treated as such.