Using positive reinforcement to discipline

Discipline: the age old topic of discussion. Most people agree that it is necessary. Regardless of the style or method you use, your aim is to guide your child to be responsible. We watch and we reprimand when necessary:

“Don’t climb on the table!”

“No, don’t hurt the dog!”

“You didn’t listen!”

This might sound familiar to you, but they are all negative phrases. How often do we enforce the positive behaviour? By changing the negative phrases to positive ones we can still achieve the same goal without sounding like a policeman:

“In our house we sit on chairs not on tables.”

“We love our dog, we handle him with care.”

“Remember that one of our house rules is to listen when mom and dad talk to you.”

It is the same message – but I bet you, you will use a different tone of voice. Your children will not feel as if you are criticising them the whole time. I assure you, you will not feel as if you are saying “no” as often anymore.

Children need to be guided and reprimanded, but our choice of words can determine the outcome of the situation. It is true that a situation often needs more than a kind request, but this should still be done with unconditional love.

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