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Positive Discipline

Parenting with positive discipline helps children develop:

  • Respect
  • Self control
  • Self confidence
  • Sensitivity to others

Positive discipline vs. punishment

Positive discipline Punishment
  • Helps guide children to behave in acceptable ways.
  • Teaches them to make decisions and solve problems.
  • Children feel safe, secure, loved.
  • Implies forcing children to behave with threats and intimidation.
  • Children obey in fear of consequences.

Provide a safe environment with fun activities:

  • Play is important for children to learn. Plan for time for your child to play with you, with playmates and on their own.
  • Having interesting things for children to do will help prevent behaviour problems from occurring.

Keep routines:

  • Routines (external link) help children feel safe and secure. Children are more likely to behave when they know what to expect.
  • Give children cues or warning to help them prepare for change from one activity to another.
  • Provide choices whenever it is safe and appropriate.

Set rules and limits:

  • Have a few simple rules and limits (external link) that your child can understand.
  • State rules and limits in a positive way. e.g., “Use your indoor voice” instead of “No yelling”.
  • Teach your child the reasons for the limits.
  • Let your child know what behaviours you expect.
  • Focus on the behaviour rather than the child.
  • Ignore irritating behaviours like whining.

Be a good role model

  • Little eyes are watching and little ears are listening.
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  • Move close to your child. Use a calm firm voice. Get down to their eye level and use their name.
  • Remind your child what the limits are. Children have short memories and attentions spans. "We share our toys with our friends".
  • Acknowledge your child’s feelings "You feel frustrated because your friend is playing with the truck you want to play with."
  • Redirect or distract very young children.
  • Teach preschoolers the skills in problem solving.
  • Use natural consequences (external link) when safe and appropriate. (e.g., If the child breaks a toy, they cannot play with it or get a new one)
  • Use logical consequences (external link) if appropriate. (e.g., If not sharing toys with a friend, the toy goes away for a period of time)
  • Provide opportunities for a child to make amends.
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