Positive Discipline

What is Positive Discipline and why is it important?

Positive Discipline Parenting and Classroom Management Model was created in the 1980’s in United States by Dr. Jane Nelson – licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. It’s based on the work of Viennese psychotherapists Alfred Adler and Rudolf Dreikurs.

It can be used by parents, teachers, couples, business and community leaders to create responsible, respectful and resourceful relationships in their communities. This model can be applied to both children and adults to become contributing members of the society.

Dr. Adler advocated treating children with respect and dignity, but also argued that spoiling and pampering children was not encouraging to them and resulted in social and behavioral challenges.

He believed that the primary goal of all people is to belong and feel significant and that people make all kind of mistakes to achieve that goal. Those mistakes are often identified as ” misbehaviour “. Misbehaviour is based on the belief we form about ourselves. Our belief system drives our behaviour.

The only way to change the behaviour is to help the person change those beliefs.

How to do it? The answer is Encouragement.

“Since a misbehaving child is also a discouraged child, he needs encouragement the way a plant needs water.”

Positive Discipline tools are all designed to be empowering and encouraging to children as well as parents. They increase a sense of belonging and significance and thus they focus on the belief behind the behaviour.

Positive Discipline is in contrast to negative discipline. Negative discipline may involve angry, destructive or violent responses to inappropriate behaviour, such as punishment, shaming and blaming.

Positive Discipline is based on the understanding that the key to positive parenting and cooperation is not punishment, but mutual respect.

Positive Discipline parenting classes are taught across the world, and Positive Discipline classroom management model is successfully used in private and public schools as well as in early years care settings .

5 criteria for Positive Discipline

  1. Helps children feel a sense of connection, belonging and significance.
  2. It is mutually respectful and encouraging, kind and firm at the same time.
  3. It is effective long term. Considers what the child is thinking and feeling, learning and deciding about himself and his world and what to do in the future to survive and to thrive.
  4. Teaches children valuable social and life skills such as respect, concern for others, problem-solving, cooperation, self-discipline, and the skills to contribute to the home, school or larger community.
  5. Invites children to discover how capable they are and how to use their power and autonomy constructively.

Why is Positive Discipline important?

Benefits for children

  • Teaches children valuable social and life skills, which will serve them through life : responsibility, self-discipline, problem solving and cooperation to name a few.
  • Builds trust and strengthens relationships, helping form new connections in a child’s brain.
  • Builds and maintains self-esteem.
  • Teaches children how to manage their emotions.
  • Teaches children how to deal with stress in a healthy way.
  • Invites children to contribute in meaningful ways and develops their sense of significance.
  • Helps children to develop the “inner motivation” to cooperate out of their own will, out of desire to feel good about themselves, rather than out of fear ,to avoid punishment or to get a reward.
  • Develops a strong understanding that one has power and influence over what happens to them in life.

Benefits for parents

  • Deepens the knowledge and self-awareness of the parent.
  • Helps parents to understand the child’s needs and reason behind behaviour.
  • Builds a deep, meaningful relationship based on love and respect.
  • Helps parents to relax and become calm and confident.
  • Is respectful to both children and adults.

Who is Positive Discipline designed for?

  • Children of any age,
  • Adolescents,
  • Parents of children of any age,
  • Teachers at schools,
  • Caregivers of early years care settings,
  • Anyone who is caring for children: parents, foster parents, grandparents, married, co-parenting or single parents,
  • Anyone who is open-minded and wants to learn and grow to support children in becoming amazing, resilient, confident, well-adjusted and emotionally healthy human beings,
  • Couples, business and community leaders who long to create responsible, respectful and resourceful relationships in their communities.

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