Discipline is the process of teaching our children what behaviour is acceptable and what is not acceptable. Discipline also teaches our children to follow rules at home, at school and in society. Positive discipline focusses on teaching and rewarding positive behaviours and supporting our children to change negative behaviours.
It is very important for our children to know that if, they have made a mistake, misbehaved or broken a rule, that we will still love them. For example, “I really love you, but I don’t love this behaviour”. The aim is to develop such a good relationship with our children that they will not want to disappoint us or let us down.
When we are consistent with our rules, in a warm and caring way, it helps reassure our children that we are there to protect them and support them even if they make a mistake.
Tops tips for positive discipline
- Be warm, calm and firm, when talking about behaviour. Children feel more at ease and secure when they know who is in charge. Fathers who are warm and firm have been found to have the most positive impact on their kids’ behaviour.
- Be consistent. Dependable boundaries help children know where the limits are, so they are less likely to cross them.
- Be fair with your discipline. Kids like things to be fair and for consequences to be reasonable. Discipline needs to be perceived as ‘fair’ by the child for it to be effective.
- Watch for when you child might be going to test a rule and calmly remind them of the possible consequences. For example: You are taking a while to get ready for bed, remember, if you don’t go to bed on time tonight, you will miss out on your screen time tomorrow and that wouldn’t be great.
- Catch them doing good things. Make sure you watch out for your kids doing the right thing by following the rules. Heap on the praise and reward for your kids when they follow the rules and doing the right thing