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Inside: Are you looking for effective positive parenting solutions? We’ve got 9 incredible positive parenting techniques to make your household more peaceful today. We will look at, what is positive discipline, why positive parenting is so good for our kids, and 9 easy ways to start positive parenting and positive discipline today!
Nothing makes us feel such over-powering joy and paralyzing fear at the same time.
There is nothing as magnificent, touching, heartbreaking, petrifying, intimidating, and exhilarating as raising a tiny human.
When you embark on this parenting adventure, you might ask, “How do I shape this tiny human into a healthy, well-adjusted, compassionate adult?”
How on earth can I do this?
This is where positive parenting comes in.
Parenting is about more than just getting kids to behave.
It’s about enjoying better family relationships, increased joy and connection, and raising amazing little humans.
Here’s the bottom line:
If you are tired of yelling and nagging, tired of power struggles and misbehavior, and sick of using ineffective punishment to “drill lessons” into your kids, this article is for you.
Let’s get to all the ways positive parenting and positive discipline will improve your family connection and even change your life!
Here come 9 positive parenting solutions.
What is Positive Parenting?
Positive parenting is a set of parenting techniques founded by Alfred Adler and Rudolf Drikurs, Viennese psychiatrists.
And you might think:
This is all fluff.
Like everyone gets a ribbon just for showing up kinda thing.
Well, it’s not fluff, far from it.
Positive parenting encourages mutual respect and focuses on teaching instead of punishing.
There are many different parenting styles, and you can get the Coles Notes version here. Still, of all the styles, better child outcomes are strongly correlated to positive parenting.
“Studies consistently show that using positive discipline yields better outcomes in terms of the child’s behavior, emotional growth, academic performance, and mental health.”Parenting for Brain
The fundamentals of positive parenting:
Positive parenting is based on a few key points (this is taken from The Positive Parenting Solutions blog. They have a genius course on positive parenting. Try out their free class right here:
A child’s primary goal is to achieve belonging and significance.
A child wants to feel emotionally connected. He/she needs to know how they fit into a family.
When a child’s life gets turned upside down, like divorce, tragedy, changing schools, or even a new brother or sister, you might notice negative behaviors arise.
This is where positive parenting solutions come in handy.
A child also needs to feel capable and needed.
They need to know that they make meaningful contributions to a family (setting a chore system is a great way to foster this.)
Behavior is goal oriented.
We must understand that behaviors are NOT the actual problem.
We need to be like Nancy Drew and get to the root cause of the issue to find a proper solution.
Harsh punishments usually don’t get the root but the problem, but rather but a band-aid on the current behavior.
A misbehaving child is a child who is struggling:
- A child is not bad for misbehaving
- They are not defiant
- They are not uncontrollable
- They are not unreasonable
A child who keeps misbehaving means that their needs aren’t being met in some way.
It’s a cry for help.
And misbehavior could mean many things. It could mean your child is feeling anxious, shy, sick, or neglected (Just to name a few).
Often when a child exhibits destructive behavior, parents need to fill up their child’s bucket somehow.
Our printables here at Mindfulmazing are designed to help you raise happy, resilient, calm kids. Check out any of our instant downloadable sets right here!
Will positive parenting help?
Having said all this:
Will positive parenting help?
Will positive parenting solve all my problems and turn my children into perfect little angels?
All kids misbehave from time to time.
Be realistic and have fun with this.
Let’s get to it, 9 positive parenting tips and positive discipline techniques you can use right now!
9 Positive Parenting Solutions and Positive Discipline Techniques
1. Get to the root of the behavior
Any parent expert will agree with me when I say:
There is always a reason for a child’s negative behavior.
Yes, even if your child is losing it over not wearing the purple tutu to school. This behavior could mean they lack the skills to manage their feelings, a desire for attention, or a power play.
Kids’ don’t realize this, but it doesn’t make it any less true.
The behavior is the symptom, like the sniffles to a cold.
You can grab over 100 worksheets to help kids deal with anger, anxiety, or big emotions in general in our BIG EMOTIONS super bundle.
We need to get to the root of the behavior.
My son loses his mind every morning when trying to get dressed.
However, upon careful dissection of this daily war, I realized he has anxiety about going to school. This anxiety manifested in something he felt he could control — his clothes!
To stop this morning tug of war, we needed to address the real reasons he felt so anxious about school.
(Hey if you have this problem too, we’ve got an epic post on addressing anxiety in kids).
Find the needle in the haystack.
Don’t just assume lousy behavior is a child being difficult. Punishments won’t work here, folks.
Be like Nancy Drew, put your investigative hat on and advocate for your child, think outside the box.
Now I don’t believe in magic, but behaviors are complex and never what they appear.
In the book The Explosive Child, we realize that any behavior is not about our child being difficult or bad. But about our child not being equipped with the proper skills to effectively deal with whatever difficult situation they are in.
We can teach those skills. Read this book. It’s a game-changer.
A calm down corner, room, binder, or space is a place for angry, overstimulated, or upset children to calm down. This GIANT calming bundle includes OVER 20 worksheets, posters, and interactive charts which will help you set up an inviting calming space or binder for kids, whether at home or in the classroom.
2. Be boring – Set routines and be firm but kind and loving
Goodbye, single spontaneous days.
Hello, routines charts, and consistency.
Kids need routine and consistency.
We can’t control everything, and the unexpected will come up. But to the best of our ability, we should try to maintain consistent bedtime routines, morning time routines, dinner times, expectations.
By having consistent routines, you are setting the stage for success.
Say yes to stress-free mornings and yes to peaceful evenings! Create a routine that will bring better sleep, more cooperation, and a peaceful flow to your family’s daily life with our premade morning and evening printable routine charts. Just print and go!
Be firm but kind
When parenting kids, your tone can be firm but remember to keep it kind and loving. So much about positive parenting solutions is in our tone.
When reminding kids of the rules, we can talk to them in a way that isn’t belittling or shaming. We can use gentle reminders and a loving tone.
Setting boundaries could go something like this.
“I’m happy to do your laundry each week, as long as your clothes are put in the hamper and not strewn on the floor. If your hamper is not full and neat, It’ll be up to you to get clean clothes.”
Then ask, “Is there anything I can do to help you remember to put your dirty clothes in the hamper?”
And of course – confirm that your child understands: “Just so we’re on the same page, can you repeat back to me your responsibility in getting the laundry done?”
This is empowering to kids. You’ve set clear boundaries in a kind, positive, and peaceful way.
But the next step is the real test. Will you follow through?
It might be hard when you have a big family dinner party, and your child is wearing their mud-stained wrinkled, dirty clothes. But this is NOT your problem.
No nagging at this point. This becomes THEIR problem, NOT yours.
Of course, you need to consider the age of your child before setting these boundaries. If your child is too young to do their own laundry, then this might not be the situation to take a stand on.
Think about where you could set appropriate boundaries and set them.
Maintain the SAME schedule on weekends and holidays. Try to keep bedtime consistent and morning time consistent. You’ll thank your lucky stars come Monday morning.
3. Keep calm and carry On
This positive parenting solution is the most challenging step for me.
To keep a calm child, we must keep ourselves in check.
And that means that even in the heat of the moment, we need to remain calm, poised, and patient.
Try to remind yourself:
- Take 10 deep breaths
- Pause, stop and gather yourself
- Remember there is always a reason for the behavior
- Grab this printable from our free resource area and hang it on your fridge.
You can’t control your kids, but you can manage your responses.
This is mindfulness 101, and oh my word, mindful parenting can up your parenting game. Just check out these 9 tips here.
Positive parenting does not mean letting your kids walk all over you. It means setting clear rules and boundaries and communicating those rules in a loving, calm, and kind tone. Control your own behavior and set boundaries
4. No shame, blame or pain
No shame, blame, or pain is positive parenting solutions 101!
- “You’re 5 years old, stop being a baby!”
- “Your hands are filthy, are you a barn animal? Go wash up.”
- “Why don’t you ever behave? It’s not that hard!”
- “Do you really want to go out looking like that?”
- “Why don’t you go play with some friends instead of hanging out home alone all the time.”
- “Calm down, it’s not that bad.”
- “Your brother gets good grades, why can’t you?”
Have you said any of these phrases, or phrases like these?
These are all shaming statements. They only make kids feel bad about themselves.
And here’s a brief explanation of why:
Sometimes kids cannot change what is being shamed.
Not every child is Einstein at school or a pro sports star. Some kids are more introverted and may not have any friends. Some kids need to express their identity despite what you think is acceptable.
Here’s the thing:
You love your child the most in the whole wide world. And what you say matters. These statements can become ingrained in kids and affect self-esteem permanently.
Making children feel bad about themselves reinforces a child’s identity that they are bad. And if they think they are bad, they will act badly.
Inflicting threats or actual pain to encourage a child to listen to you might get you short term results, but the long-term effects are undesirable.
Dr. Robert Sege of Tufts Medical Center in Boston says,
“There is no benefit to spanking. Not only does hitting kids do little good, but it can also worsen their long-term behavior. Children who experience repeated use of corporal punishment tend to develop more aggressive behaviors, increased aggression in school, and an increased risk of mental health disorders and cognitive problems,”Dr. Robert Sege
He went on to say, “We know that children grow and develop better with positive role modeling and by setting healthy limits. We can do better.”
If you are looking for positive discipline alternatives to spanking, below are a few ideas:
- Place your child in a time-In (See below). …
- Take away privileges …
- Ignore mild misbehavior and focus on positive behavior…
- Teach new skills …
- Provide logical consequences (see below) …
- Allow for natural consequences (see below) …
- Reward good behavior …
- Praise, praise, praise good behavior…
Dr. John wants to positively influence the next generation. That’s why he has recorded all his knowledge into one super helpful book. To deepen your positive parenting practice, grab this little gem.
5. Use natural consequences where possible, and if not possible, logical consequences
As we discussed briefly above, harsh punishment is not effective. (And does not belong with a positive discipline approach).
It can be confusing and damaging to your child, and often seems unrelated to the offense at hand.
What if you allowed natural consequences to play out?
If your child is refusing to wear mitts, perhaps let them go without mitts. When their hands get cold, I’m sure they will ask for their mitts, and next time will be more cooperative.
(Remember when using natural consequences, you don’t want to do anything that would harm your child. If its -20 degrees and your kids leave for school where they will be forced outside, they definitely need their mitts to avoid frostbite. This is not the time to allow your child to use a natural consequence.)
Now my main motto for parenting is that if something isn’t going to harm my child developmentally or physically, I let it go.
I try not to control everything.
Another good example is when your child refuses to wear their rain boots. Perhaps say, “Okay, your choice.”
Their feet getting waterlogged and them feeling uncomfortable is a perfectly natural consequence.
You can’t always natural consequences…so sometimes we use logical consequences.
If your child won’t pick up their toys, and you don’t see a natural consequence, you could say, “If these toys aren’t picked up each and every night, the toy goblins will come and take them in the night.”
6. Understand age-appropriate behavior
Positive parenting techniques for preschoolers or toddlers are different from older kids.
Children under the age of three cannot reason because the part of their brain (prefrontal cortex) responsible for understanding consequences and making sound judgment has not yet developed.
So, redirection can be used for children in this age group instead of reasoning or giving consequences.
And by redirection, I mean, if a child is acting silly and not listening, steer them away from whatever activity they are doing and steer them in the right direction.
If they are acting up because they want attention and seek it with negative behaviors, then shower them with positive reinforcement.
Give kids choices wherever you can.
Would you like to watch TV for 20 minutes or play this board game? Would you like to wear the green or purple shirt?
You’ll be surprised how giving kids’ choices will ward off many mini (or big) meltdowns.
You can often reason with older children and help them understand why you are setting boundaries or enforcing a consequence.
What’s the bottom line?
Always try to understand your child’s age and level of development and tailor your positive discipline to that age.
7. Use a time in, not a time out
Time In’s are such a positive craze right now I’m loving. (And there’s no better way to practice positive parenting solutions than this…)
We have an epic post on calm down corners. We’ve had teachers and parents from all over the world take advantage of these printables kits to make a cozy space where upset children can go to calm down.
Kids can go to this safe space, pick a non-stimulatory activity, and bring their excitement levels back down to normal. (Green zone)
My strong-willed and emotional child feels everything VERY intensely. It’s disheartening that there is absolutely nothing I can do to help him regain control once he’s spiraled into his emotional abyss.
We created a calm down corner. It blocks out stimulation, noise, and most of all, me trying to control his behavior.
It’s been HUGE for us.
I call it a Cozy Corner, but it’s also referred to as a Quiet Corner, Calm Down Space, Sensory Tent or Cool Down Spot
Mindfulmazing offers two printable sets of calm down corner printables.
Invite your child or student into a warming calming corner space or create an engaging calm-down binder. These beautiful resources teach angry, overstimulated, overwhelmed, or upset children emotional awareness, and provide useful calm down strategies to help them navigate these difficult feelings.
Create Your Own Calm Down Corner
A calm down corner is a place where angry or upset children can go to calm down. Grab these helpful printable calm down corner printables from the shop!
Often when kids are misbehaving, it’s because they are overstimulated.
Going to this space is not a punishment — it’s a happy place, and it’s an effective tool to help your child curb this behavior.
Children can learn that there are different ways of acting. And take the time they need, calm down, and rejoin the family when they are ready.
8. Mistakes will help you grow
When children are old enough to reason (older than three), every misbehaving episode can be turned into an invaluable life lesson.
- For instance, what is the lesson of breaking a toy? It means the child cannot play with it anymore.
- If the child didn’t like the toy, he should have given it to a friend or donate it so that other kids could enjoy it.
- If they broke a toy out of frustration, help them find other outlets to release the anger, such as punching a pillow.
- It is also an excellent opportunity to give them the vocabulary to explain their feelings (“I am angry because…”) rather than acting out.
You are helping your child develop their communication skills at the same time, which will cut down on temper tantrums significantly.
Another way to help kids learn from there mistakes is setting rewards, such as ice cream, for behaving well at grandmas. If they don’t behave, you can remind them why they aren’t enjoying ice-cream and help them to understand that there are consequences for behavior.
And remember to always use positive reinforcement.
Let your child know (verbally) that you notice the good things they do.
Did your child make their bed? Did they put their plate in the sink? Tell them you noticed.
Snag this FREE poster of 101 positive things to say to kids to help your children feel confident and loved! This is positive parenting at it’s best! Get it right here!
We often get in the bad habit of only commenting on negative behaviors, and we miss the good stuff.
This can lead to kids seeking negative reinforcement. Because negative attention is better than none at all.
You don’t need to reward kids for every little good thing they do, but tell them you noticed. It’s simple and powerful.
- I saw you helped your brother with his homework today: what a kind and thoughtful thing to do.
When kids get this type of positive attention, they will want to live up to a positive identity.
9. Consider if you are overusing rewards
Do you ever feel like some days you are nagging, begging, and bribing your child to get them to listen?
Desperation sets in, and guess what, your child knows this!
A lot of people argue whether using rewards is good or bad.
Here are my two cents:
Any approach can be overused or misused. Nowadays, spanking is frowned upon, and authoritative parenting styles are recommended. But in using authoritative parenting, we’ve turned into bribing convicts.
Here’s the problem:
We want our kids to experience what they call “intrinsic motivation.”
That’s where you feel good naturally when you master a skill or take on a challenge. And if kids are just expecting a reward, they become less motivated.
Rewards have their place, believe me, I get it.
My child would never eat dinner if he weren’t getting that cookie afterward. Still, we need to remember to build a loving and trusting relationship.
Rewards should be a small part of the overall positive parenting approach of nurturing children.
These expert-based programs all foster a positive parenting approach and teach parents effective ways to use rewards: Triple P, Incredible Years, Positive Parenting Solutions, and Family Works, Inc.
In short, use rewards where appropriate, mainly to provide incentives for kids to try new things. But walk a fine line between overusing and squashing that intrinsic motivation.
Positive Parenting Solutions Conclusion:
Parenting is messy, and we ALL make mistakes.
There are days when positive parenting goes RIGHT out the window, and you’ve just yelled your way through that 100th sibling fight of the day.
Don’t beat yourself up. We are all trying our best. Get back on the horse and aim for everyone to do better. And this article, full of amazing positive parenting solutions, is a great place to start.
These 9 positive parenting techniques are sure to create a more peaceful home life for you and your children. I’d love to hear from you below. Add any ideas or thoughts you have about techniques that have worked in your family.
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