Positive approaches to discipline work because you are teaching your child how you want her/him to behave. When children learn, they are building new connections in their brains. Children learn best through relationships that make them feel safe, secure, and nurtured. When you build a trusting, warm, and supportive relationship with your child, you are also helping to build your child's brain. Positive parenting helps your child's brain to mature and to learn from you how to deal with stress in a healthy way.
Positive discipline strategies strengthen your relationship with your child. Building blocks for positive parenting and discipline are:
- Building trust with your child: Being there, keeping your word
- Showing respect: Listening, acknowledging their feelings
- Teaching your child how to behave: Be patient, don't loose your temper
The first step is to create a plan for how you want to discipline your child. Think about positive ways to encourage good behavior with your child such as praise, routines, problem-solving, and time-outs. Having a plan for how you want to discipline your child in different situations can prevent you from reacting in a way that you don't want to under-stress.
Without a plan, parents often repeat the discipline that they experienced as children. Ask yourself if there is anything about the discipline that you experienced as a child that you want to be different for your child.