“Sitting down and talking to them and asking them why they did what they did and explaining why it was wrong and why they shouldn’t do it. It is better than hitting them because maybe they don’t understand why their parents are hurting them and they become scared of that person” – 15 year old female on a better way of handling discipline. “Punishment does not mean hitting. Suitable punishments include grounding, making the child do chores, cutting off privileges such as pocket money or TV” – 13 year old girl on more suitable punishment.
- Connect with your children.
- Give choices, not commands. (Would you like to brush you teeth now or after you change clothes?)
- Take a playful approach. (Make a game out of chores.)
- Allow feelings to take their course, in other words let your children work through their emotions.
- Describe the child’s behavior, not the child.
- Negotiate limits where possible. (No is always an option if it puts your child at risk.)
- Treat your children as partners in the family.
- Don’t force affection. (If they don’t want to hug then, don’t force the issue.)
- Trust your children.
- Take time outs when you need to regain composure.
Now positive discipline and gentle parenting might not be an easy undertaking for some but it helps us all to develop a world of loving, kind, and empathy feeling people. It is far better than the alternative of angry, hurt, depressed, and damaged people. Even if we ourselves have been damaged in our upbringing we can give our children a better experience by understanding them and teaching them to be understanding people.