Creative Child

Three Positive Discipline Tools You Can Begin Using Today

by Rebecca Eanes

Positive Discipline is an approach that teaches rather than punishes. There are many positive discipline educators, but today I’d like to highlight the work of Dr. Jane Nelsen, founder of the Positive Discipline program and author or co-author of the Positive Discipline Series. She is a licensed marriage, family, and child counselor in South Jordan, UT and San Diego, CA. Dr. Nelsen has created the Positive Discipline Tool Cards which are a wonderful resource for parents to utilize. I’m pulling out 3 of the 52 cards to discuss. These three tools will help you get started with the Positive Discipline approach or, for seasoned positive parents, will give you a nice refresher.

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1. Routine charts. Routines help children develop self-discipline along with providing a sense of security. Kids like to know what’s coming next, and a visual routine chart is very helpful for many children. It helps them know what’s expected, stay focused, and accomplish their goals. This builds confidence and capability! Dr. Nelsen recommends creating the chart together with your child. What tasks need to be done? Does your child struggle the most in the morning, during homework, or at bedtime? Take photos of your child doing each task, or have your child draw each task or cut out printed photos. Arrange them in the correct order. For example, your morning chart might show the following photos: Eating breakfast, brushing teeth, getting dressed, getting backpack, putting on shoes, and hugs. Let the routine chart be the boss. Keep pointing your child to it until it becomes, well, routine!

As a side note, Dr. Nelsen does not recommend rewarding children for completing their charts. The feeling they get from a job well done is reward enough.

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