Why use positive punishment?: Parents do not want to yell at or hit their children. We do it because we’re under stress and can’t think of a better solution, claims Professor Cluver.
The evidence is overwhelming: yelling and hitting simply don’t work and may ultimately cause more harm than good. A child’s entire life may be negatively impacted by frequent hitting and yelling. Continued exposure to this “toxic stress” can have a variety of detrimental effects, including an increased risk of depression, heart disease, drug use, suicide, and school dropout.
Professor Cluver compares it to telling someone, “Here’s this medicine, it’s not going to help you and it’s going to make you sick.” “When we know something is ineffective, that’s a pretty good reason to search for an alternative strategy,”
The positive discipline approach emphasises building a strong relationship with your child and establishing expectations for behaviour rather than punishment and what not to do. It works, and here’s how you can start putting it into practise, which is good news for all parents:
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1. Plan Alone Time
Any healthy relationship needs one-on-one time to develop, but relationships with your kids require it even more. It might take 20 minutes per day. even five minutes. According to Professor Cluver, you can combine it with activities like singing or conversing while hanging out the laundry or washing dishes while doing so. “Paying attention to your child is what is most crucial. You get down on their level, turn off your phone and TV, and then it’s just you and them.
2. Highlight the Positive
As parents, we frequently draw attention to and discipline our kids’ inappropriate behaviour. This could be interpreted by kids as a way to get your attention, which would perpetuate bad behaviour rather than end it.
Praise makes kids happy. They feel cherished and unique as a result. Professor Cluver advises keeping an eye out for when they’re doing something right and rewarding them, even if it’s just playing with their sibling for five minutes. This could promote appropriate conduct and lessen the need for punishment.
3. Establish Clear Guidelines.
According to Professor Cluver, it is much more effective to tell your child exactly what you want them to do rather than what they should not do. “Children don’t always understand what they’re expected to do when you ask them to behave well or not make a mess,” says the teacher. It is more likely that they will comply with your request if you give them clear instructions, such as “Please pick up all of your toys and put them in the box.”
But it’s crucial to have reasonable expectations. According to Professor Cluver, asking someone to be quiet for an entire day might not be as manageable as asking them to be quiet for 10 minutes while you make a phone call. “You are aware of your child’s potential. However, if you ask for the impossibly difficult thing, they will fail.
4. Use Inventive Diversion
According to Professor Cluver, it can be helpful to divert your child’s attention with a more constructive activity when they are acting difficultly. “You can successfully divert their energy towards positive behaviour when you distract them towards something else, such as by changing the topic, introducing a game, leading them into another room, or going for a walk.”
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Timing is equally important. Distraction also involves recognising when something is about to go wrong and acting on it. Recognizing potential problems before they arise, such as when two siblings are eyeing the same toy or your child is starting to act fidgety, irritable, or annoyed.