Communication
Paraphrased with comments by Kristin from Melanie Miller, a positive parenting associate

Children do better when they feel better. (This goes for adults too!) It is moving from rewards and punishment to kind and firm parenting. Kind and firm parenting includes problem solving, mutual respect and encouragement. It believes that children do better when they feel better. Positive Discipline is about long term parenting that builds respectful relationships within families.

*A misbehaving child is a discouraged child. Believe it or not, he/she is not just trying to push your buttons. Her misbehavior can be an indication that she doesn’t have a sense of belonging in the moment. Seeing her as discouraged, can help you take a minute to calm down and parent with compassion.

I want to make sure that my children get the most attention when they are making good choices. I also find they behave better when they are busy. I pay a lot of attention to my kids so that I can notice when they are accomplishing good things. – Kristin

*Validate the child’s feelings. When she is sad, angry, embarrassed etc., notice her feelings and say something like; I noticed you felt really sad when I didn’t have time to read your book to you. Kids like it when someone “hears” how they feel. Make sure the child knows you love them no-matter-what.

*Ask curiosity questions. Ask “how and what” questions.

Be truly curious about how they see the situation. – Kristin

*Problem Solve. Let your child know that you don’t know what to do anymore when he/she “hits Brother”. Pick a solution together and try it. If it doesn’t work, calmly (with no shame, blame or pain) go back to problem solving and brainstorm some more solutions.

My kids value fairness. There were only a few things that we have consequences to in our home and hitting is one of them. We all decided that if you hit or bite you go to time-out for the number of minutes of your age. Because they see this as fair, and I am consistent in enforcing it, my kids haven’t hit each other much at all. – Kristin