Creative Child

Three Positive Discipline Tools You Can Begin Using Today

by Rebecca Eanes


2. Decide what you will do. We can’t ever truly control our child’s behavior. We can influence it, but anyone who has cared for children know you cannot control them. The only person you can control is yourself, and that’s exactly what makes this tool so powerful. For example, you cannot force a child to do his chores but you can decide that you will not drive him to practice until his chores are done. You cannot control how your child reacts to “no” but you can control how you will react to a tantrum. You cannot make her do her homework in a timely manner, but you can let her take the heat from the teacher for assignments not turned in. 

The key is to decide what you will do in advance and make sure your child is notified, then follow through with the cornerstones of Positive Discipline, kindness and firmness. This means when the chores don’t get done and your kid misses that event, you aren’t having a yelling match over it nor are you giving in and driving him anyway. You might say, “Bummer. I wish you would have gotten your chores done on time. You know the rule. Hey, since you’re missing practice today, let’s bake those cookies we bought.” Why kindness when your kid clearly broke a rule? Because kindness keeps the relationship intact and their hearts softened toward you. Yes, he will be temporarily mad that he didn’t get to go to practice, but this will pass. Yelling and hurtful words leave a longer lasting hurt.

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3. Limited choices. Giving children choices gives them just a bit of power over their daily lives. This is important practice because they gain more and more of that power as they grow! When children feel they have a little control over their lives, you’ll see some power struggles start to dissipate. Some examples are “would you like your raincoat or your umbrella? You decide!” and “It’s time for bed. Would you rather stomp like an elephant or crawl like a panther to your room?” If your child says, “I don’t want to go to bed,” you might respond with, “That’s not a choice. Would you rather stomp like an elephant or crawl like a panther?” Still not getting cooperation? Look at number 1: What will you do? “If you don’t go to bed on time, I won’t read you a story. I want us to read together. What do you choose?” 

Rebecca Eanes, is the founder of and creator of Positive Parenting: Toddlers and Beyond. She is the bestselling author of 3 books. Her newest book,Positive Parenting: An Essential Guide, is more than a parenting book, it's a guide to human connection. She has also written The Newbie's Guide to Positive Parentingand co-authored the book, Positive Parenting in Action: The How-To Guide to Putting Positive Parenting Principles in Action in Early ChildhoodShe is the grateful mother to 2 boys.


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