As far as positive discipline is concerned, you as a parent ought to understand that your child is not a machine but a complete human being having all the faculties of life. So, infusing positive discipline in your child is not a mechanical but psychological challenge offering so many choices to you as a parent.

It is quite interesting thing that you wish to have a remote control to stop your child’s behavior with single click of a button before things start twisting or out of control. Being a parent sometimes you wish you had a removable battery in her too! So, whenever your child is making something wrong you want to step ahead and just take out her batteries for just some moments.

For making resourceful, caring, responsible, and respectful member of society to your child, positive discipline plays a key role. There are some bestselling books based on the topic of Positive discipline by Dr. Jane Nelson, Lynn Lott, Cheryl Erwin, Mary Hughes, Lisa Larson, and so on. These mentioned books teach us the importance of social and discipline skills in different manners which are encouraging for both children and adults including teachers and parents.

In this article of positive discipline, we are going to learn three types of discipline, problems while instilling positive discipline and solutions of these challenges.

What is the main purpose of discipline?

The aim of discipline is to teach children the skills they need to make good choices. First, you should focus on your own discipline regarding teaching your child and then, your child will get benefit from you.

purpose of discipline

Sometimes, your child’s behavior may present some exceptional challenges. You may have experienced negative discipline during your childhood period and tried to apply that experience on your children as well. But now, you may need more effective communication skills and discipline strategies.

Discipline as punishment for your child and its solution

  • Panic of the punishment- both parent and child bear the panic of the punishment given to a child by her parent.
  • Concentration on this thing only what not to do- while imposing punishment, focus of parent is not the rectification of the problem but stoppage of the mistakes committed by child.
  • After incidents occur, focus is on the punishment only; not on the root cause of that incident.
  • Try to focus on what and why the child did wrong.
  • Ignore some causes of undesirable behavior that may be improved later on. This shows parents’ optimistic approach.
  • Inconsistent approach while instilling discipline can be very harmful for child because she learns that same thing from parents.

Discipline as instruction for your child

  • Make your child self-disciplined
  • Concentrate on what to do
  • Be proactive means planning before time is of key importance while disciplining child.
  • As any incident happens, guide your child to make positive choices in the future.
  • Concentrate on what your child can do differently in the future
  • Assess your child’s motivation and teach skills to your child to refine that.
  • Be consistent with your passion of teaching your child and molding her life.

The final goal of discipline is to teach self-discipline to your child.

How does your child learn to make good choices regarding self- discipline on her own?

Child needs to hear “no” for an answer. Your child must be treated with respect and fairness.

If your discipline is based only on fear of consequences, result may not be favorable rather your child should be motivated to make only a desirable choice. If your child does not have skills of self-control and problem solving, your child will not develop the desirable behavior essential to avoid the punishment.  

3 Types of discipline

Every parent usually develops his own styles of discipline for his family and mostly these discipline strategies can be categorized into three main styles that are given below.

Preventive discipline

Being a parent you need effective family discipline management strategies to establish expectations, guidelines and rules for good behavior to teach your child that what is right and what is wrong for you?

Clearly let your child know that what the essential component is regarding good discipline and try to guide your child before performing her task so she could be aware of her attitude.

Preventive discipline

The goal of preventative discipline is to provide awareness to your child to do the things before the time. If she wants to perform her task she should prepare the basic elements of her task. Through this way she can achieve her success.

Preventative discipline strategies create a safe family atmosphere in which your child feels and understands what is to come.

Supportive discipline

As a parent, your supportive discipline towards your child is very important. Supportive discipline means support your child while applying discipline.

When a parent suggests for correcting behavior and your child disobeys an established family rule; being a parent you use supportive discipline for your child in this time.

Supportive discipline is different from punishment as it provides suggestions to your child and an option for correcting a behavior before a consequence is essential.

Remember that redirection and nonverbal communication are examples of supportive discipline.

Corrective discipline

When your child has failed to redirect her behavior after repeated efforts and supportive discipline, you as a parent should choose a corrective discipline strategy for your child. There is plenty of variation among corrective discipline strategies.

Some are more effective than others. For instance engaging with your child in verbal communication is a corrective discipline technique, but it may escalate a volatile situation and undermine your authority as a parent and leader. Consistent application of consequences is an essential component of corrective discipline strategy.

8 types of positive discipline strategies

Being a parent, it is your job to teach your child that how she should behave with others. Although that is time taking and patient job but it can help out to your child to learn the effective and healthy discipline strategies. 

Some popular tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics that help your child learn acceptable behavior as she grows.

 The Pediatrics Academy recommends positive discipline strategies that effectively teach to manage your child behavior and keep her away from harm while promoting healthy development.

Following positive discipline strategies are very helpful for you and your child.

Give free choices to your child

Give your child free hand to select the things instead of commands. Where she can use no response, you are less likely to end up in typical situation. The choices empower your child.

Make sure that you are satisfied with both choices. Do not give your child a choice that you cannot tolerate because this will only make you unreliable in her eyes.

The choices shouldn’t have to be complicated. Just ask her how they want to do something which can be quite effective. Instead of commanding, gently ask her, “Do you want to wear your shoes first or the jacket? Give her even small choices to choose. This is your positive attitude for the child and child will never mind this behavior.

The best thing about this most frequently recommended positive discipline technique is that you offer freedom of choice. Your children love the freedom of choice and you will feel better because it works; it is also called win-win approach.

Teach your child constantly

Teach your child constantly and be clear about that you are consistent in following discipline; your child needs to know what is acceptable and what isn’t. And she judges that what was and wasn’t okay yesterday and the day before.

If as a parent, you do not follow the discipline rule consistently; your child will not follow discipline as well. She will not know how to behave and that can leave your child feeling confused and insecure.

Teach your child constantly

Apply to keep the same schedule every day. That means that mostly you should have a regular sleep time, meal time and bed time and also manage free time to have fun with your child.

Ignore inappropriate behavior

Being a parent, you should often pretend not to hear or see certain behavior. While this is not one of the positive discipline techniques to use habitually, mostly it works amazingly well for minor problems.

When your child plays with something which makes her happy you are not supposed to interfere in her activity, rather sometimes you need to turn a blind eye if she is happy and safe.

Create a “yes” environment for your child

Being a positive discipline parent, you know that every child is born with a healthy curiosity; you know very well about your child that she needs the freedom to safely explore her surrounding to discover that what her world is all about.

It is not worthy to constantly stop your child from touching the surrounding things of the house. Through this way, your child can be scared or shy which causes lack of discipline in her.

For younger child

As she grows, her natural tendency is to express her individuality and push her limits in a progressive way. At this stage, it becomes necessary to give her freedom what she is looking for, but within limited access.

Always try to keep harmful or breakable things away from your child’s reach. In this way your child won’t have to hear “no” all the time and you and your child will have more satisfied mind knowing that she is not getting into things she shouldn’t.

With older kids

Let’s suppose if your child is asking you for car’s keys although she does not know how to drive a car. What will you do in this condition? Will you give keys to your child without knowing the traffic rules and about car? Absolutely you will say “NO” in this situation but you will have to find out the solution of saying” YES” instead of “NO”

Teach your child about emotions  

As a parent you should start teaching your child to express her emotions from very early age so she can understand the kinds of feeling and express herself in a better way in front of you. In some situation your child does not know what is happening in her surrounding and it is very common problem with her.

Rachel Wagner describes in his book “Flip It” that your child’s feelings are the root of all behaviors. With the passage of time, your child becomes aware of what she wants to become and what she feels before you ask her to control herself.

Teach your child about emotions

Let’s try to understand the story of a young mom who was trying to explain her emotions regarding her child.

There was a young mom who taught her three year old child to communicate her emotions and she was happy to see that it really helped. She told her mom when the bus brought her at home, and nobody waited her so she got scared and at this stage the child looked at the wondering cloud and compared herself with it.

Actually, she wished that her mom should wait for her outside the house to say welcome. By your assistance, your child can be able to understand and regulate emotions of not only herself but of others also.

Third-Party mediators’ use as imaginary

Sometimes, when your children fight with each other, use third party facilitator which can play a key role between them. The third party can help to diffuse tension. You can pick a very silent puppet that shows positive behavior.

Take a puppet as a judge; assume it that puppet is performing and talking to your kid and making your child confident for a moment. Tell your child that puppet is talking to you that why are you fighting, why are you crying and why are you taunting. That assumption of puppet can make your child happy and get rid of tense moment.

If you have an older kid, as a mediator, read the news stories or existing events that facilitate difficult conversations.

For example, speak to your teens about the uprisings which occurred in Ferguson Missouri. That is a great way to bring up racism, diversity, rioting, and other challenging topics. Discuss it while reviewing a variety of perspectives from your family’s point of view and the values you hold.

Through this way, you make a broader perspective of your child i.e., what is the importance of balance between power and responsibility for a community.

Play detective role in your child’s life

Being a parent, it is your responsibility to focus on your child regarding her behavior. Are there any specific times or day activities when challenging and problematic behavior is most likely to occur?  Are there environmental conditions that may be an element to affect her behavior? Too warm, too cold or any of these circumstances can be factor: illness, allergies, change in diet, medication change, hunger, parties or crowds, change in caregiver, fatigue etc.

Whatever the situation may be, as a parent, first of all, you should know the source of that particular behavior by following the ABC Log which means antecedent, behavior and consequence. ABC Log chart is being shared with you for your easiness.

Play detective role

The solution of all these challenges is ABC Log because you as a parent struggle to know the basic reason behind that behavior. What happens after that behavior is also significant to eradicate the reason of that specific behavior.

Divert and channelize your child’s attention

It is essential to divert and channelize your child’s activities positively. Sometime, your child does some such types of activities which you don’t expect from her end and you stop her doing so. Here the question arises if she shouldn’t do this then what other she should do. If you stop your child whatever she is doing then surely you should show her another way of doing something which can keep her engaged.

In this situation you as a parent use a diversion tool and turn your child’s attention to something else which you want to expect from your child and use it for your advantage.

In some cases being a parent you may need some strategic policy about your child for instance if your child is not paying attention in her class, in this scenario you should divert her thinking in sports or something else whatever she likes. This is another good way to channelize your child’s attention that can make her busy and by this way you can utilize the time of your child and that can prove beneficial for you as a parent and your child.

Focusing on solutions instead of punishment

Instead of punishing your child, try to find out the solution; the research says that you punish your child when you don’t have a solution of challenges. Parents and teachers can no longer function as bosses so in this case they need to learn and upgrade the parenting skills of the present era.

A famous researcher Jane Nelsen described some positive and effective discipline method to teach the community.

Instead of punishing your child

Some golden principles

  • Help the offspring build a sense of connection
  • Train them to be mutually respectful and encouraging to others.
  • Observe the children whether they are thinking, planning, feeling and learning about themselves and their own limited world and what they will do in their future: to survive or to thrive.

 This all belongs to effective and positive discipline if these qualities are present in your kids, these are the positive signs.       

The affirmative discipline is aimed at developing mutually respectful relationship between children and parents.

In a nutshell

After having this detailed discussion on positive discipline, one thing is clear that you as a parent need to understand the psychology of your child to cultivate her into a disciplined personality. Role modeling from your end as a parent is of vital importance as your child follows your actions, not your words because actions speak louder than words.