As a mom to 3 children, I have learned that there are healthy discipline strategies that work and ones that don’t. In this post, I will share 5 healthy discipline strategies that work.
I know that children misbehave. I also know that reacting harshly rarely does anything to make the situation better.
In this post, I will share 6 healthy discipline strategies that work.
I first started on this parenting journey 10 years ago. Since the birth of my eldest child, I have learned that there are good ways to react to behaviour and then there are less helpful ways to react.
I found myself asking: could there really be a way to introduce him to the idea of ‘yes and no’ or ‘right and wrong’ at such a young age? Needless to say, I was determined to find a way to gently nudge him in the right direction.
What the Research says:
Research shows that how we react to our children’s behaviour has a profound effect on how they behave in the future.
Reacting too strongly (or not strongly enough) to misbehaviour can lead to repeated issues which can last indefinitely.
I mean, think about it. they look up to us, not only to tell them how to behave but also to teach them by modelling the desired behaviour.
If you’ve been wondering whether or not to introduce the concept of discipline to your little ones, consider the following advice to correct your child’s behaviour, but remain a positive influence at the same time.
5 healthy discipline strategies that work
1. Keep Your Cool
I know we all have had days where we’ve had it ‘up to here’ with our kids. However, the most important thing to keep in mind when your child misbehaves is to remain calm.
Losing your cool while trying to improve your child’s behaviour doesn’t set a positive example of how to act in stressful situations.
In fact, it does the exact opposite.
Children are extremely observant and the last thing you would want is for your child to become anxious or timid around you due to fear that you’ll lose your cool.
Instead, if you’re feeling upset or overwhelmed with your child, try talking it out with them. I’m a huge advocate for verbally communicating with young children.
Baby talk is cute and all but by communicating with them in a normal tone of voice works wonders for their rapidly developing language and speech skills
2. Don’t Highlight Misbehavior
Children often act out because they are looking for attention, whether it’s positive or not. If yelling or throwing a tantrum proves to be a good way to get your attention, they will undoubtedly keep doing it whenever they see fit.
Of course, you can’t ignore misbehaviour completely – you need to make sure your child stays safe. But, try to avoid showing extra attention to them because of negative actions.
For example, if your child throws a tantrum because he wants a toy at the store, try telling him that you won’t talk about it until he calms down. If he continues to cry, browse the store as usual and remind him that you won’t talk about it until he calms down.
As tempting as it may be to yell or ‘nip it in the bud’ to avoid a crying spell in the store, I’ve found that my son calms down much quicker when I ignore his misbehaviour and suggest an alternative instead
Related Blog posts
- 6 strategies to avoid meltdowns
- 9 reasons why parenting is so hard
- 5 Things parenting experts forget to tell you about discipline
- The Best parenting advice I ever got
3. Take Special Notice of Good Behavior
It’s been found that children react very positively to encouragement, affirmation, and approval. Not only that – praise also makes your child feel more capable, which is good for self-esteem.
Therefore, you want to make sure that you are intentional about giving praise to your children for good habits and behaviour.
If your child gets no encouragement or attention from positive actions, they may turn to misbehaviour in order to feel noticed.
4. Stay Firm
Usually, when parents clearly and firmly demand that their child do something, it’s safe to say that the child generally knows that there aren’t any other options.
However, this isn’t always the case.
Nevertheless, it’s important to use a calm tone of voice when speaking with your child but remember to remind them that you mean what you say.
Of course, being firm doesn’t mean yelling or being mean to your children.
It just means not to give in to them so easily.
5. Learn to Accept Mistakes
Children make mistakes in how they behave, just like adults sometimes do. It’s important to remember that kids aren’t tiny grown-ups and they lack much of the knowledge and experience that many adults have picked up over the years.
Misbehaviour may not be desirable, but it is a perfectly normal part of being a kid.
By modelling the desired behaviour for your child, rather than simply scolding them for bad behaviour, you help to make sure they understand what they can do to behave better from that point forward.
As parents, it’s our job to teach our children how to navigate the world around them.
Reacting negatively to misbehaviour can affect your kids during their childhood and later when they become parents themselves.
However, if you apply the above tips, and remain patient and positive, you can be sure that your kids will develop positive habits too.
Gentle Parenting books I recommend
** The links below are affiliate links, please read my disclosure policy**
- Have a new Kid by Friday
- The 5 Love Languages of Children
- The whole brain child
In the comments below, share some positive ways you react when your child misbehaves.