We often use words like punishment and discipline interchangeably, they are not the same. Discipline is a teaching process to acknowledge and correct behaviour, a way to teach kids to follow rules. Punishment is a punitive measure to get rid of a behaviour. Punishment can be integrated in the discipline process, but it should be balanced with rewarding positive behaviours.
Punishment such as time-outs and taking away privileges like screen time can helpful for putting you in control of kid’s behaviour and sending the message “You need to stop, it’s wrong.” to kids. Kids often do not learn to how to control their actions and fail to understand the concept of their consequences. This can lead to kids thinking becoming more careful not to get caught is more important than changing their behaviour. Positive discipline teaches kids accountability and builds an understanding of correcting their behaviour. We understand how difficult parenting could be, and we want to help by discussing what positive discipline looks like:
1. Applying corrective consequences
Consequences should be reasonable, related to the problem and results from the behaviour. Discussions on what the expected behaviour should be may be enough, but for other children, you may have to apply appropriate time-outs or taking away certain privileges. The message that should be communicated is: “You should not be doing this but instead doing this…”.
2. Praise the desired behaviour
Encouraging good behaviour acts as positive reinforcement. When you clearly acknowledge and praise good behaviour, you show your kids that you are honestly showing approval. They are willing to continue to continue that desired behaviour and also build positive self-esteem that comes with the praise.
3. Discuss strategies together
Often kids do things impulsively and there should be strategies to help them think before they act. Think about the skills your children need to develop for them to change behaviour. It could be counting to 5 or even taking 3 deep breaths.
4. Continue to build a positive relationship!
Building a positive relationship with your child is important for learning about one another. Spend quality time with children, whether it is talking, playing games together, cooking fun recipes, or simply enjoying one another’s company. Encourage children to share their feelings and find opportunities to discuss mistakes, problems and solutions.
Positive discipline is great for guiding children to understand their actions and behaviours. To know that actions can lead to consequences and that it could be used as a learning lesson!