Can you guess the topic that I speak on most often? Yes. You are right. Positive discipline for children.
It seems we all struggle with discipling our children at times.
And if we were to think of the most difficult, ugly, stressful part of our job as parents, the act of disciplining our offspring would probably top the list. It is just not fun. No fun at all.
Our first step in taking back control of discipline is two-fold.
The first thing we need to do is to ask the question:
Why does misbehaviour occur? (We might also ask, when or where?)
I am all for asking good questions. Good questions make us focus our attention onto a situation, and with clear, fresh information, we can often find a solution or at least finally see the very obvious “missing link” that has been glaring at us all along.
Are they overtired, overloaded on sweets or lollies, coming down with something or just over spending time with the local neighbourhood kids? Sometimes, difficult behaviour is easily solved by adjusting our family boundaries a little bit.
The second thing we need to do is to check in with our expectations about little children.
We have to learn what we can (or can’t) or should (or should not) expect from a two-year old or a four-year old or a six-year old. Sometimes simply adjusting our expectations can solve a ‘problem’. For instance, rather than get angry at a two-year old for not sharing, we learn that sharing is not a normal expectation for this age and instead adjust our approach, perhaps making sure that there are enough trucks or shovels or dolls for everyone.
(A lesson I have learned: when buying shovels for the sandpit, it pays to buy two of the SAME colour, rather than one red and one blue!)
What is the most important thing you have learned when it comes to positive discipline?