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The Importance of Positive Discipline for Preschoolers

Struggling to get your kids to behave in an acceptable manner? It’s not you, it’s discipline. Confused? Read on.

We Are All Aware of Discipline. What Then is Positive Discipline?

What’s the first thought that comes to mind when you say the word discipline? Punishing your child for being a “bad boy” or “bad girl”, right? Well, positive discipline is completely different: it is based on the principle that there are no bad children, only good behaviour and bad behaviour.

Why is Positive Discipline Important?

The word discipline is derived from the Latin word disciplina, which means teaching. Strange then that its meaning has changed from teaching to punishment over time. Although discipline may seem effective, it often strikes fear in the heart of your child, and may even cause him to resent you. This is probably why discipline is also known as negative discipline; after all, it does do more harm than good. The approach of positive discipline is the exact opposite. Here, when children do something they aren’t supposed to do, parents teach them to behave as they should instead of punishing them.

3 Steps to Enforce Positive Discipline

1. Keep Your Emotions in Check

When your child does something wrong, it’s easy to lose your temper and yell at him. Don’t! Stay calm and reassess the situation, and you’ll often find that it isn’t as bad as you think. Remember, spanking and scolding your kid will only hurt your child – both physically and mentally.

2. Tell Your Child Why Her Behaviour is Wrong, Then Have Her Make Up for It

Consider this situation: you have asked your child to put away his scattered toys a couple of times. Instead of doing that, he throws them across the room and looks defiantly at you. Now, your immediate reaction will naturally be to tell him that what he did is bad, and he better clean up or he will get in trouble. There is a high probability that he will not move a muscle, because although it is obvious to you, he doesn’t know why his behaviour is unacceptable. Educate him by telling him something like, ”if you don’t put away your toys, you won’t be able to play with them next time as they will be swept away by the maid.” Be calm and firm while speaking with him, and your child will definitely listen to you – if not immediately, then after some time.

3. Appreciate Your Child

Sometimes, children misbehave simply to get your attention. It may sound strange, but if a child is not getting enough attention, she will even appreciate negative attention like scolding and spanking. Make sure you compliment your child when she does something well, or even if he simply makes a good effort. Appreciation for good behaviour will definitely reduce bad behaviour.

Positive discipline may seem like a newfangled concept, but it has been around for quite some time. Although it is hard to master, it has been proved to have long-term benefits. A few of them are stronger parent-child relationship, reduced misbehaviour, and self-discipline. Great perks, right?

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