“As a parent, we have the tendency to use force and harsh words to our children. We enforce what we want by planting fear in their minds. But we don’t realize that these style of disciplining doesn’t help for long. It may effective once or twice but soon after, you’ll realize it’s never really helping you nor your child.”
“I’ve come to the frightening conclusion that I am the decisive element. It’s my daily mood that makes the weather. As a parent or teacher, I possess a tremendous power to make a child’s life miserable or joyous. I can be a tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration. I can humiliate or humor, hurt or heal. In all situations, it is my response that decides whether a crisis will be escalated or de-escalated and a child humanized or de-humanized.”
-Dr. Haim Ginott
Why Positive Parenting? Because it works, from toddlers to teens. Positive parenting raises a child who WANTS to behave.
Strict Parenting raises angry kids who lose interest in pleasing their parents. Permissive parenting raises unhappy kids who test their parents. In both cases, the child resists the parent’s guidance and doesn’t internalize self discipline.
Positive parenting — sometimes called positive discipline, gentle guidance, or loving guidance — is simply guidance that keeps our kids on the right path, offered in a positive way that resists any temptation to be punitive. Studies show that’s what helps kids learn consideration and responsibility, and makes for happier kids and parents.
“Children misbehave when they feel discouraged or powerless. When you use discipline methods that overpower them or make them feel bad about themselves, you lower their self-esteem. It doesn’t make sense to punish a child who is already feeling badly about herself and heap more discouragement on top of her.”
-Kathryn J. Kvols
Why Spanking Doesn’t Help Kids Behave
When most people think of discipline, they think of physical punishment. Fear is a time honored and potent motivator, right? It certainly nips problem behavior in the bud.
But research confirms what intuition should tell us, which is that physical force teaches children all the wrong lessons. Children who are spanked learn that might makes right, that hitting is justified in some circumstances (such as when you are bigger), and that people who supposedly love you may hurt you.
Not surprisingly, study after study shows that children who are physically disciplined are more aggressive toward other children, more rebellious as teenagers, and more prone to depression and violent acting out as adults.
“But then how do kids learn lessons?”
Kids who are physically disciplined are actually less likely to learn lessons, because, as anyone who has ever been harshly punished can attest, they become obsessed with fantasies of self-justification and revenge rather than considering how to control themselves to prevent future misbehavior. Instead of becoming motivated to change and avoid the misbehavior in the future, they become motivated to avoid more punishment – not at all the same thing.
As a result, kids who are physically disciplined are not only more likely to repeat problem behavior than other kids, but are more likely to exhibit increasingly worse behavior, including deception. If you’re still considering physical discipline, please read the section called Should You Spank Your Child? If not, you’re probably wondering what does work.
Positive Parenting is the Most Effective Discipline to Stop Behavior Problems
“So what kind of discipline does a conscientious, compassionate parent use to coax good behavior out of immature little humans who are still developing the ability to control themselves — and are completely capable of driving you crazy?”
Every parent grapples with this issue. Discipline is one of the most googled words for parents. And even parents who refrain from physical force usually assume that discipline means some form of punishment, because our culture’s view of human nature assumes that humans must be punished so they will learn …