Huron Village WorldSong Schools

The Importance of Positive Discipline



There are no bad kids, just bad behavior: this is the idea behind positive discipline. Positive discipline is a discipline model that focuses on positive aspects of behavior. With positive discipline, caregivers and educators reinforce and teach good behaviors while eliminating unwanted behaviors; bad behaviors are weaned out without harming the child verbally or physically. Children are taught to control themselves, take responsibility, and think about how their actions affect themselves and others. Positive discipline teaches children to become responsible and respectful members of their communities.


Why should you use positive discipline?


Research has shown that children are born with the need to connect with others, and children that feel a connection with their family, school, and community are less likely to misbehave. And to be successful members of their community, children need to learn appropriate social and life skills. Positive discipline helps teach these skills.


In addition, it’s obvious that children need limits: they’re growing and learning about the world and they need to learn what is acceptable behavior at home, at school, and in their community. But boundaries also make children feel secure. If parents let children do whatever they want, children don’t feel adequately protected or loved; they have low self-control, get frustrated easily, and have difficulty with responsibility. They need a safe space to learn and make mistakes and learn about this world.


What are some positive parenting techniques?




For one, parents should create clear, fair rules, and everyone in the household—including parents—should follow these rules. For example, if children aren’t allowed to say naughty words, adults shouldn’t be either. Rules can be devised in a family meeting and children should have a say. This way, children are responsible for following the rules that they helped create. When they misbehave, parents should be kind but firm in their response.



Listening to your child shows him that you see him and respect him and what he says is important. If he feels respected, he will also respect you and others. Through listening, your child learns to value himself and others.


Intrinsic motivation


Positive discipline helps cultivate a sense of intrinsic motivation. If your child is intrinsically motivated to behave well, he isn’t simply seeking to avoid punishment or get a reward: he is motivated to behave properly because it’s the right thing to do.


Praising positive behavior


Giving your child plenty of praise when he demonstrates good behavior and be specific about what you are praising. At the same time, you can ignore minor naughtiness. Children will seek out positive attention.



CC Image Courtesy of Snake3yes on Flickr

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