It’s possible to manage bad behaviour in a positive way.

Can punishment really be positive? Shouldn’t discipline sting in order to teach your child a lesson? Positive discipline may be an effective way to teach your children valuable life lessons. While it still involves giving kids negative consequences for misbehaviour, it also involves taking steps to prevent behaviour problems before they start. We’ve summarised a few useful techniques below.

Build a Positive Relationship

The positive discipline uses an authoritative approach, where a child’s feelings are taken into consideration. Children are encouraged to share their feelings as well as discuss their mistakes, ideas, and problems openly. Parents then work with the child on resolving issues while modelling respectful communication.

Use Encouragement Liberally

The positive discipline focuses on encouragement over praise. Instead of praising kids for a job well done, focus on your child’s efforts—even if the outcome isn’t successful. Encouragement can help kids recognize their full potential. It also teaches them to be more independent as they will begin to see what they can do on their own. Help your child feel appreciated and recognized, as a positive discipline is based on the belief that all kids need to feel a deep sense of belonging. Modelling how to handle mistakes is an important part of positive discipline. So, when you mess up, make sure to apologize to your child. This teaches kids the importance of taking responsibility for their own behaviours and shows the importance of learning from mistakes.

Problem-Solve Together

Caregivers are encouraged to hold meetings to problem-solve issues as they arise. This teaches children the necessary problem-solving skills while providing them with opportunities to share their opinions. Mutual respect is an important part of the process. When your child exhibits behaviour problems sit down together and talk about. Say something like, “You haven’t done your chores two nights this week. What can we do about that?” You may find your child is invested in creating solutions. And when she’s invested in the process, she’ll be more motivated to do better.

Focus on Teaching

Teaching is an important step in the process. Give your child clear guidelines and explain your expectations ahead of time. Assign chores and take time to teach your child how to vacuum the carpet or how to make her bed properly. This will eliminate misunderstands about the job.

Use Discipline Instead of Punishments

Positive discipline makes a sharp distinction between discipline and punishment. Consequences are not meant to be harsh, but instead, should teach life lessons that prepare children to become responsible adults. In positive discipline, time-out is not considered a punishment. Instead, it should be referred to as a positive time out and should take place in a pleasant, comfortable area. A positive time-out is designed to teach children to take a break when they need to cool down so they can eventually take a time-out on their own without being sent there consequently. Use positive reinforcement strategies that encourage good behaviour. Reward programs, sticker charts, and token economy systems can go a long way to discouraging bad behaviour.

When to Use Positive Discipline

Positive discipline can work well with preschool kids through to teenagers. Many schools encourage teachers to use positive discipline in the classroom by employing the same principles. Positive discipline is likely to be effective with any caregiver and can help ensure that children are learning from their mistakes.