Blog

Agreements - A Positive Discipline Tool Card

Why don’t children keep their agreements? Could it be that sometimes parents and teachers say, “This is what we are going to do. Do you agree?” When the question is asked in an authoritarian manner that doesn’t leave room for discussion, children often shrug in agreement, which really means, “Sure, I’ll agree to get you off my back, but I don’t really agree.”

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Hugs: A Positive Discipline Tool Card

This tool card provides an example of asking for a hug when a child is having a temper tantrum, but that is certainly not the only time a hug can be an appropriate intervention when you understand the principle of hugs. Later, I’ll share where the example on the card came from; but first I want to share another example.

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MISTAKES ARE WONDERFUL OPPORTUNITIES TO LEARN

Close your eyes and remember the messages you received from parents and teachers about mistakes when you were a child. When you made a mistake, did you receive the message that you were stupid, inadequate, bad, a disappointment, a klutz? When hearing these messages, what did you decide about yourself and about what to do in the future?

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Connection Before Correction

The one Positive Discipline Tool I wish I had used more consistently is this: Connection before Correction. Of course, I didn't know what this meant as a young mother, and didn't create it as a Positive Discipline tool until about five years ago. Now we know it is just brain science: children learn (grow, feel safe, thrive) best when they feel connection—or as Alfred Adler and Rudolf Dreikurs taught us, "a sense of belonging and significance".

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Follow Through With Children

Julie complained that her four-year-old son, Chad, is very responsive and cooperative with his father about going to bed, but when she puts him to bed and tries to leave, Chad yells for her to come back and wants her to lay down with him. Every time she tries to leave, he cries for her to come back. Julie feels exhausted and resentful that she can’t have the evening to herself or enjoy time with her husband. She wonders why she can't get the same cooperation from Chad as Dad does.

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Small Steps

As parents, we can of course do everything better and quicker than our children. But how does this help your child? You have to decide if perfection and expediency are more important than encouraging your child to develop a deep belief in his or her capability.

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Teach Children What to Do

Children under the age of three do not understand "no" in the way most parents think they do. (And, a full understanding of "no" doesn't occur magically when the child turns three. It is a developmental process.) "No" is an abstract concept that is in direct opposition to the developmental need of young children to explore their world and to develop their sense of autonomy.

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Avoid Pampering

Pampering is doing things for our children that they are perfectly capable of doing for themselves. The fact is, our children are born with an innate desire to do things for themselves and begin to express that desire around the age of two. We are all familiar with the toddler who says "Me do it!" Too many parents say, "No, you are too little. Go play." Then when they are older and we ask them to help, we are surprised when they say, "No. I'm playing."

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Compliments Create a Positive Atmosphere in Homes and Classrooms

Compliments and appreciations bring us closer together. Finding ways to compliment your children can be a very valuable parenting tool. So often we are focused on what our children have done wrong. This week focus on what your children have done right and give them an appropriate compliment. "I appreciate how quickly you get dressed and ready for school." "I notice how kindly you cared for Anna when she felt sad, I bet it helped her feel better." "Thank you for setting the table." You will be amazed how this simple act will change the atmosphere in your home.

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Encouragement vs Praise

Rudolf Dreikurs taught, “A child needs encouragement like a plant needs water.” In other words, encouragement is essential. Children may not die without encouragement, but they certainly wither.

Since encouragement is so essential, it would be good for parents to know what encouragement means and how to do it. Let’s start with the difference between praise and encouragement. It would be helpful to download the file "Differences Between Praise and Encouragement".

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Online Learning

Positive Discipline offers online learning options for parents, teachers, and parent educators. Learn in the comfort of your own home and at your own pace. You have unlimited access to our online streaming programs, so you can watch and re-watch the videos as often as you like.

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