What Is Positive Discipline And How To Use It

What Is Positive Discipline And How To Use It

The year 2020 has changed how we view the world ‘positive’. Yet even with that fact in mind the phrase “Positive Discipline” just sounds amazing. It has a feel-good vibe to it. Even if you have no idea what Positive Discipline even is, it sounds like something you need. In this blog, we go over what is position discipline and how to use it.


Yet to most people reading this, they probably have a small degree of familiarity with positive discipline. A lot of people know that it is a parenting style. Or a certain tool to be used by parents. Some might even know that positive discipline is a tool used mostly in authoritative parenting.


If you find yourself being aware of positive discipline and are willing to learn more, you’ve come to the right place.



Positive Parenting



What is Positive Discipline?


Positive Discipline is a parenting model that allows parents to instill discipline in their children. Positive Discipline can be used for different children, ranging from toddlers all the way to teenagers.


Positive Discipline encourages the formation of discipline through a system of rewards and asks parents to avoid punishment as much as possible, while avoiding severe punishment completely. 


Positive Discipline is based on concrete scientific evidence and research. The ideas behind Positive Discipline range from the 1920s, all the way to today.


Jane Nelsen is the leading figure behind this method. She wrote the book on Positive Discipline, literally, it has the same name.


Numerous studies show that this method is not only effective for building discipline but it is also great in many other regards. For example children raised with this method are shown to be more motivated than other children.


In it’s core Positive Discipline is a method that shuns shouting, punishment and neglect, while putting rewards, understanding and communication at the front seat.


It is also characterized by clear communication of the rules, from the parents to the child.



Mom And Daughter



How to use Positive Discipline?


Understanding what something is, and using it are two different things. What most parents are concerned with is how to use these methods.


Well, we decided to go directly to the source for this one. Who else could show us better, how to use the technique they created?


In their official website, the masterminds behind Positive Discipline have shared a list of 17 Guidelines on how to implement this method. Although we won’t go through them all today, we think that one can get a good grasp on this method by just skimming through a few of them. 


Change how you view discipline: When trying most new things, the first step is always keeping an open mind, and being open to change. The same applies for people willing to give Positive Discipline a try. 


In the guidelines, rule number 11 says: “Get rid of the crazy idea that in order to make children do better, you have to make them feel worse.


This is a perfect starting point in understanding how to use Positive Discipline. A lot of people have severe misconceptions on how parenting works. This can be because of a lot of reasons, but mostly misinformation. 


One such misinformation that floats around a lot is the idea that you need to make your children feel bad, to get them started, or in this case, disciplined.


That couldn’t be further from the truth. You should never aim to do that, even if it is out of “tough love”. Many people try to justify it by calling punishment something else. Make sure you don’t do that.



Kids Picnic



Be inclusive with your children: One thing that we forget about children is that they are just like us. Of course, they are young, immature and have yet a lot to learn. At the end of the day though, they are humans just like us. 


One great way to be inclusive is to have your children take part in the process of decision making. Especially the decision about who will do what jobs. Positive Discipline can be reinforced through simple inclusion.


Don’t let your children just be under Positive Discipline, instead have them be part of it. 


Instead of making your children do what you decided, make sure that they feel that we decided to do this. This usually boils down to chores. Speaking of which, don’t let them become monotonous. Take different chores, and switch ‘who does what’ around often.


Positive time-out over punishment: As much as Positive Discipline focuses on the positive side of things, and promotes rewards over punishment, the truth is, sometimes punishments are unavoidable.


Do you think you need a positive Time-out?” This is such a simple yet profound notion. Sometimes children can be disrespectful, they misbehave or can be generally angry and agitated. Asking your child upfront if they agree that a positive time-out is required flips the whole punishment idea on its head.


Punishment will be served, but your child will know that they agreed to this and that there was no other option. This allows the time out to actually be something positive, and not feel like punishment at all.


It is recommended that you build a positive time-out space yourself. You can choose a corner that you decorate with toys. Include maybe, drawing and painting accessories too.


Let the time-out period be reflective but enjoyable also. This of course, is better suited for younger ages. 


Everybody makes mistakes: One of the biggest truths of this world is that everyone is fallible. Even mommy and daddy make mistakes… Positive Discipline brings this to the front, instead of trying to shy away from it. 


You made a mistake, let’s learn something from that! Here is where Positive Discipline shines the most in our opinion. While some are quick to rush at punishing when mistakes happen, parents trying to use positive discipline ask: “What can we learn from this?” instead.


This can be very easy to use. Everytime you make a mistake, be open about it, and show your child that you yourself learn from your mistakes. While when it happens to them, just use it as an opportunity to take a valuable lesson. Use the “3 Rs of Recovery” after a mistake:


  1. Recognize your mistake
  2. Reconcile; be willing to say: “I am sorry. I didn’t like the way I handled that.”
  3. Resolve; focus on solutions rather than blame.


These work best together. Most of the time number 3 doesn’t show results, if you skip number 1 and 2.



Mommy Daughter Time



Build a problem solving system: One other major thing that Positive Discipline utilizes mostly is transparency and communication. You should always use these two cards and have them available at all times. 


Think about having family meetings, where problem solving is discussed. Everyone’s opinion is taken seriously when we do our discussions. Let your children speak their mind… Even if they want to solve the problem by using unicorn magic.


Use these meetings to make your child capable of sharing their opinion, while also being respectful towards the opinions of others.


The meetings don’t have to be anything fancy. It could be simple sitting around the dining table and having a conversation. The goal here isn’t to turn your household into a corporation.


Instead what you want is for your children to learn responsibility, problem-solving skills, self-discipline and cooperation.


Positive Discipline is truly a great tool for all parents to use. As it is one of those things that never stop benefiting. It is great for short term problem-solving, while also ensuring a long term proper development for you children.