What To Do When Your Discipline Strategy Stops Working

What To Do When Your Discipline Strategy Stops Working

Alternatives to Punishment, Kids 5 - 12 years, Parenting, Preschoolers 3-5 yrs
I've tried it all! I've done gold star rewards. I have tried fun prizes as bribes. We've done fun fuzzy pom-pom jars. And lots of yelling. Begging. Taking away screens, sweets and toys. Everything works for about two days. if I'm lucky a week.  And then we are back to square one. I'm tired. And my kids that just don't seem to care.  Help!!! -A very tired mother.  It can be so frustrating when your go-to discipline strategies just don't seem to work. Often the problem isn't that you aren't being consistent enough, or creative with your punishments...It's that bribes, punishments, time-outs and rewards tend to cultivate only compliance. And while compliance can make things appear easier, compliance doesn't really equal long term learning or foster capability. Children need to learn how to manage…
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Positive Parenting: What To Do When Your Child Lies To You

Positive Parenting: What To Do When Your Child Lies To You

Alternatives to Punishment, Parenting, Positive Discipline
Positive Parenting tools you can use to encourage your child to stop telling you lies and fibs. Children want more than anything to be loved and accepted by their parents and caregivers. When children realize they have done something wrong, they may instinctively try to re-frame the situation in a positive way; sometimes, that involves bending the truth or outright lying. Has your child ever insisted it was the dog that left the light on? Or that she did clean her room but the wind must have made it all messy again?  From the most innocent to serious lies, it is possible to teach children the value of honesty without relying on punishments, bribes or rewards. An effective way to deal with lies is to remember the TRUTH: T is for traps: If you…
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Positive Parenting: Punishing Misbehavior Doesn’t Have to be the Answer

Positive Parenting: Punishing Misbehavior Doesn’t Have to be the Answer

Alternatives to Punishment, Kids 5 - 12 years, Preschoolers 3-5 yrs
One morning my four year old daughter and I were getting ready to leave the house when she suddenly yelled “Idiot!” Right at me. As I processed the word, I saw my little girl’s cheeks flush. Tears streamed down her face as she half whispered - half yelled "you are an IDIOT Mama." Total silence followed as we looked at each other. We stared so long, I nearly forgot to breathe out, and in again. Idiot. My daughter called me an idiot. There are many behaviors that really push parent’s buttons. Disrespectful, rude words tend to top the list. The default response for such rude remarks is often a stern “Don’t talk to me like that.” “Mind your words.” Or “How dare you speak to me this way?” But I…
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Positive Discipline for Attention Seeking Behaviors

Positive Discipline for Attention Seeking Behaviors

Alternatives to Punishment, Kids 5 - 12 years, Positive Discipline, Preschoolers 3-5 yrs, Toddlers 12- 36 months
You’re feeling annoyed. Your child keeps bothering you with the same behavior. “Stop!” you huff for the tenth time, but it happens again. Why can’t my child just listen to me, you think. You’re confused as to the reason your child would continue to do something over and over again when you’ve made it clear that you want it to stop. How many times has this happened for you this week? Maybe did you finally “lose it” and yell? . . or end up threatening or following through with a punishment? Want to better understand the situation? Would you like to try something that might yield better results? Read on to take a deeper look at what’s really going on between you and your child. Attention Seeking Behaviors – What’s Going…
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Positive Parenting: How To Encourage Children to Follow Your Guidance

Positive Parenting: How To Encourage Children to Follow Your Guidance

Alternatives to Punishment, Kids 5 - 12 years, Preschoolers 3-5 yrs, Toddlers 12- 36 months
Children are much more likely to learn from positive interactions than negative ones.  While some parents may fear that being kind is going to lead to a misbehaving child, in truth, a child will want to listen to parental guidance when they can trust their parents and feel safe.  Traditional punishment and "discipline" techniques often focus on making a child feel badly about themselves and their behavior. While dealing with defiance or lack of cooperation is difficult,  children most often misbehave when they are already feeling disconnected, bad, tired or overwhelmed.  Making a child feel worse about themselves is not going to help them understand that their behavior is unacceptable or inappropriate. Discipline that makes children feel bad, shame, or scared also doesn't help them change their behavior. What does encourage children to follow…
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3 simple Ideas to Encourage Children to Help with Chores

3 simple Ideas to Encourage Children to Help with Chores

Alternatives to Punishment, Family Communication, Help By Age & Stage
Children often enjoy doing household tasks because it gives them a sense of belonging and a feeling of capability. Yet, many families feel that chores lead to power struggles and are a hassle to deal with. The problem with chores very often has to do with how we parents approach the whole idea of chores and house hold tasks.   I often find that a simple, encouraging, non reward based approach is not only easier on us parents (no points or stickers to keep track of) it also instills in children a sense that sharing household jobs is simply a regular and expected part of family life. So here are three simple ideas for encouraging children to help out with chores: *Work Together: Instead of giving children a list of…
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What You Can Do To Raise Responsible Children

What You Can Do To Raise Responsible Children

Alternatives to Punishment, Family Communication, Kids 5 - 12 years
Helping Children Learn To Make Responsible Choices One day at the store, my five year old was helping out by getting yogurts off the shelf and into the shopping cart. As he removed two yogurts from the shelf, another two yogurts toppled down onto the lower shelf. Before I could even worry about the little mishap, my son re-stacked the yogurts back into place. Later as we were settling down for the day I told him I really appreciated seeing him place the yogurts back on the shelf. "Of course I put them back" he said "I'm the one that knocked them down!" That Was Responsibility in Action! I know, it's just two yogurts, not a huge deal, but the thing is, my five year old bounds with energy, he…
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Discipline for Young Children: 12 Alternatives to Time Outs

Discipline for Young Children: 12 Alternatives to Time Outs

Alternatives to Punishment, Help By Age & Stage, Parenting, Preschoolers 3-5 yrs, Toddlers 12- 36 months
If you have read about the benefits of skipping time out in favor of other ways to guide children but are not sure where to start, here are twelve alternatives to time out  that give parents and children a chance to address choices and situations with the intention to offer guidance while maintaining a positive, respectful and peaceful connection. These alternatives are mostly geared towards children aged 1 to 6 years but also work well beyond that too.  1.  Take a break together: The key is to do this together and before things get out of hand. So, if your child is having a difficult time or making unsafe choices like hitting a playmate, find a quiet space to take a break together. Just five minutes of connection, listening to what your child…
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3 Examples of Moving From Compliance to Cooperation

3 Examples of Moving From Compliance to Cooperation

Alternatives to Punishment, Family Communication, Help By Age & Stage, Kids 5 - 12 years, Parenting, Parenting Solutions
Using compliance as a parenting strategy commonly involves conflicts, power struggles and threats of losing a privilege, punishment or bribery.  Many parents want and expect compliance because they are the parent or “things need to get done” or “time is of the essence” or safety is a concern. However, compliance often comes at the expense of self worth and it may also dent the loving connection which is the core of the parent child relationship. So how can we encourage children to ultimately want to do what needs to be done? How can we foster a positive, can do attitude in our children? I believe a huge factor here is moving from compliance towards cooperation. With my three children, I have been really practicing fostering cooperation and I have to…
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Guiding Curious Preschoolers with Playful Parenting

Guiding Curious Preschoolers with Playful Parenting

Alternatives to Punishment, Help By Age & Stage, Preschoolers 3-5 yrs
Our children often need us and the message of love at times when it seems like they least deserve it! My four year-old loves to investigate things. This means he is very happy to spill stuff, open cupboards, and search the house for anything he wants to learn about. This also means that sometimes he makes decisions that are a bit perplexing like spilling glue all over the table to see what it feels like or breaking a marker and running water to “catch the colors”. Sometimes people ask me how it is that I don’t totally lose my cool when I discover another one of his messes or undertakings. The thing is, knowing him, I don’t just expect these messes, I try to support them. I know how much…
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