The approach parents are using to deal with challenging behaviour is changing. Or at least the beliefs we hold about discipline are changing. After all, we are human and have our own emotional responses, which means that for some parents’ positive discipline is an ideal that feels right in theory but is tough to implement. Hashtag mum guilt. Increasingly modern motherhood feels the weight of responsibility that is attached to challenging behaviour because of the impact on children’s well-being. In contrast, grandparents mutter comments about ‘letting them get away with it’. We are the generation caught up between our own experiences of being parented and the research that means we know better. It takes effort, but knowing we are all products of our experiences means we owe it not only to our kids, but also our grandchildren, their kids and so on, to be the generation of parents that make the change. Because the positive ripple effect we would have on emotional well-being and mindset will be a legacy we can be proud of.
So why connection before correction? What impact will positively disciplining our children have?
1. Environment to grow
When we connect with our children, rather than lecture or shame them, we give them a place to feel supported and safe, even when they make mistakes. This means they can really learn from difficult feelings or wrong choices.
2. Build trust
Connection builds trust. When children know they can come to parents with problems and big emotions, the relationship is based on honesty, openness and trust. In the midst of emotional chaos, our children are in flight or flight. Punishment in these circumstances doesn’t appeal to a child’s thinking brain. Instead it leads to isolation, confusion and insecurity.
3. Sets the tone for future relationships
The way we interact with our children teaches them about relationships. When we use connection and positive discipline, we are modelling a relationship that consists of respect, listening, understanding, compromise, sharing and validation.
4. Positive impact on brain development and emotional awareness
Brains are super complex and continually rewired through interactions and experiences, so it goes without saying that the more positive our interactions the better! That’s not to say we should wrap our kids up in cotton wool. But we can, however, support their brain development by giving them the tools their brains need to process emotions and events, so our kids grow a little each time they behave in a challenging way.
So, how do we go about discipling our children positively?
I think it’s really important that you think about your child and how to apply a conscious approach specifically to their personality and needs. But here are some general pointers:
There's a few books that we recommend in our affiliate links that are super helpful to any parents looking to develop and improve their positive approach to parenting. These books are full of useful tips and give such good insight into the psychology of a child's developing mind.
The Whole Brain Child.
You can find it here:
The Book You Wish Your Parents had Read (and your children will be glad that you did).
Find it here:
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Hey! I'm the founder, creator and voice of Ink and Scribbles. Sharing thoughts on child well-being and parenting that are based on my teaching and parenting experience, and NLP learning.