Positive parenting starts by creating a good relationship with your children so that he/she responds to gentile guidance rather than punishments and threats. The most effective discipline strategy is having a close relationship with your child. Kids who feel connected with their parents, generally want to please them.
Furthermore, evaluate all teaching based on whether it strengthens or weakens your relationship with your child. Think loving guidance, rather than punishment. Loving guidance is setting limits and reinforcing expectations as needed in an empathetic way that helps the child in improving their behavior rather that being mad at you.
Don’t be afraid to set limits, but do it with empathy. You can acknowledge their view. When kids feel understood they’re more able to accept our limits. Examples: “You’re very mad right now, but we don’t bite. Use your words to tell your brother how you feel.” “You wish you could play longer, but it’s bedtime. I know that makes you sad.”
Defiance sometimes related to a relationship problem. If you child doesn’t accept your direction, (“I don’t care, you can’t make me do it!”) it can be an indication that the relationship is not strong enough. This happens to all of us sometimes so don’t worry. Just think of ways how to strengthen the relationship. Turning the situation into a power struggle will just deepen the rift between you.
Kids will do almost anything if we ask them to do it with a loving heart. Try to find a way to say “YES!” Rather than “NO!” even when you set your limits. Yes it’s time to clean up, and Yes I will help you, and Yes you will growl about it, Yes if we hurry we can read another story etc…Your child will respond to the generosity of spirit that matches yours! Also, remember that how your treat your child is how she/he will treat himself.
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picture courtesy of Practicing Parenting