Think of discipline as a way to guide and teach your child about positive ways to behave. A parenting style that works well is one that uses discipline proactively. The goal is to use techniques that encourage your child’s sense of responsibility, nurture self-esteem, and strengthen your relationship with your child.
Hands down parenting with choices is the best way and most successful way to parent all ages of children. When I was a young single mom with four children under the age of six, I was so stressed out with discipline. The Lord lead me to discover Parenting With Choices. My parenting was revolutionized! The stress was alleviated. Years later, I was reintroduced to Parenting With Love and Logic. The principles expanded my ability and success as a parent and a social worker.
As a mom, grandma, and social worker working with troubled teens I am a strong advocate of parenting with love and logic.I didn’t need to beg, threaten, plead, cajole, or get angry. I simply allowed the consequences to do the leading and teaching. My job was to set clear limits on what I was willing and not willing to do. I offered choices we could both live with and I did it with empathy and compassion.
My three-year-old grandson threatens to throw a big toy truck down the staircase.
“I am going to throw the truck down the stairs.”
“If you choose to do that I will choose to give you time out so you decide”.
“ I’m going to throw it down the staircase .”
“if you choose to do that I will choose to give you time out, you decide.”
( You could see the wheels turning in his head). Still carrying the truck, he went back into his room.
I told him, “Good job..That was a great choice!”
When one of my children were acting out as a teen, they informed me that they heard my lecture in their head, “You choose, you pay.”I responded and told them that I was glad they were thinking about their choices. The child still chose to make bad choices but eventually made good choices.
Here are the benefits:
- Kids feel more capable, even after being disciplined
- Power struggles are diminished
- Both parent and child are empowered
- Children learn to think about their choices
- They learn as in life there are consequences or price tags for every choice. Better to learn about choices when the price tag is small rather than huge as an adult.
- Children learn to be responsible and gain self-confidence.
Here is a summary and key principles:
- Parents and children share control and decision-making
- Using empathy with consequences will enhance the self-concept of children
- Parents provide limits in a caring way.
- When interacting with children, parents need to stay calm and avoid provoking, threatening, moralizing, or lecturing.
- Parents use polite statements that are enforceable and offer children choices within limits
- Discipline is maintained with compassion and understanding.
- Successful parents know that they must build a positive relationship with their children because they cannot make children do their best by being angry with them
- Treat children with respect and dignity
- Sharing control and stopping undesirable behaviors early are most effective
Parenting with Love and Logic is the best way to be a successful parent! It is a win-win opportunity to provide “teaching” moments for your child. Download a sample of love & logic.