|Posted by Marjorie Firmin on May 19, 2014 at 10:20 AM|
By Marjorie Firmin
As parents we want to teach our children to be more independent, to learn how to solve problems effectively, and to encourage their respect for others and themselves. In a broad sense, this is the goal of Positive Discipline: A philosophy of life that many psychologists and educators can teach parents as a tool to educate their children and adolescents.
Positive Discipline is an educational method that promotes the emotional intelligence (EQ). Nowadays, many schools around the world are implementing this methodology hoping to achieve higher levels of academic performance among students.
The challenge for educators is that in order to implement this method more efficiently, parents need to be educated as well. When we talk about discipline we need to be aware of the difference between discipline and punishment. Discipline has to do with educating, forming, guiding, and setting boundaries. It has nothing to do with punishment.
Under this perspective, we want to generate solutions for the errors or problems that the children face. Instead of punishing them when they make a mistake or rewarding them when they do things well. Same thing happens when we give them praise—they expect to receive it. I believe, that is best to avoid doing this. Gratifying children for their accomplishments generates the expectation of receiving something for their efforts and success.
How can we begin to implement Positive Discipline?
It is essential that we are willing to learn it, understand it, and implement it. We must be willing to brake away from the paradigms of traditional education. For example, we can avoid forcing our children to do what we want them to do or punish them for a bad action, and instead apply positive discipline to promote a pleasant upbringing.
I am convinced that this will generate a tight connection between parents and children that will promote better behavior in them. What are the benefits of Positive Discipline? As an educator, I can testify to the benefits of positive discipline. Applying this philosophy to our everyday life could help develop more independent and self-confident children who will grow up to become responsible members of our society capable of solving their own problems.
It is important that we empower our children at an early age to make their own decisions. If we are constantly solving their problems we are going to hurt them in the long run. Another great benefit of positive discipline is that it stimulates their emotional intelligence and mental health, since it promotes self-control. Moreover, it has the potential to form studious, thoughtful, and responsible adults with great abilities for leadership.
Five easy steps to begin implementing Positive Discipline:
1. Practice self-control of your emotions. Be clear and firm.
2. Be respectful of the feelings and decisions of your children.
3. Reflect. Sit with your child and check his mistakes. Ask him what he learned from the experience.
4. Be kind but firm at the same time. Encourage them to do things well.
5. Identify negative emotions and find solutions to solve them. Respect their emotions, but don’t give in. Tell them they have the right to be angry, but not to do something bad because of that.
Keywords: Positive discipline, emotional intelligence, mental health, self-control, self-respect, education, children
Marjorie Firmin is an educator, author, speaker, and consultant who lives in Dallas, TX. She is a cancer survivor and for the last twenty years has devoted her life to research and practice of self-help and self-healing techniques. You can find her on Facebook