Cooperation Begins with Trust

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Three Positive Parenting Steps to Transform Misbehavior into Cooperation

Three Positive Parenting Steps to Transform Misbehavior into Cooperation
Stop your child's misbehavior and increase listening by following simple positive discipline steps that encourage cooperation.

There were jeans and inside out t-shirts scattered between legos and nerf darts. It was almost the end of the day and my son hadn’t picked up his room. I had asked him earlier in the day, probably more than once.

It was time to put some positive discipline into action. 

I found my son on the couch with his sister giggling up a storm. They were playing and I was sure his messy room was the last thing on his mind.

It was one of those moments where tension could build up because what we each wanted were very different things.

Trying to focus on finding solutions for the messy room, I asked my son a simple and calm question:

“I noticed your room isn’t ready yet. Did you have a plan for getting it done as we agreed?”

“Oh…big ooops mom. You asked me and  I didn’t do it. I can do it now, like right away” said my son.

“Wait, I can help you!” Said my daughter.

I couldn’t help but smile hearing my son’s honesty and my daughter’s offer to be helpful.

I have learned over the years that rethinking how to approach misbehavior is important, especially if helping children learn to make better choices is your goal.  

Positive discipline can help you and your child get on the same page, while consequences can quickly bring tension and power struggles into the mix.

Consequences and punishments, aside from not offering an opportunity to learn,  are emotionally draining and often frightening to children.

When children misbehave, they are typically missing important information, feeling disconnected from their parent, frustrated, fearful or overwhelmed. Sometimes children are simply engaged in their own world of play and discovery to follow through with what we ask. 

Consequences tend to create more tears and struggles instead of inviting real cooperation. 

The kind of discipline that can help your child behave better

Children behave well when they feel encouraged, capable and emotionally well.

Children need guidance and acceptance, especially if we want to be able to influence their behavior and shape it into a positive one.

Children don’t come pre-wired to know what is right and wrong.

They do come wired with a desire to experiment and learn. So, a big part of helping children feel capable of learning and changing their behavior is to make sure we provide a safe space in which they can feel confident to take risks, make mistakes but also know that they will have a chance to try again. 

1 positive parenting better behaved kids

Here are 3 discipline steps you can take to help children change unacceptable behaviors:

1. Stop & Explain: Stop the behavior by approaching the child.  As much as possible, avoid correcting behavior from far away. Instead, use gentle physical touch such as a hand on your child’s shoulders and a neutral, non threatening voice.

 Harsh words, isolation, yelling, physical aggression all shuts down the child’s ability to learn. 

Explain your reasons for not allowing something but keep it simple and clear.

  • “I’m concerned you could get hurt.”
  •  “Yelling inside is too loud.”
  • “The book shelf is for books, it is not for climbing.”

Communicating clearly helps your child develop good decision-making skills.

2. Focus on helping instead of blaming. 

You may never fully understand “why” your child has done something unhelpful. Young children often misbehave even if they “know” better too, because they are still learning, are very impulsive and emotional.

Healthy, growing children also choose to experiment and push limits. Blaming your child for bad behaviors is very discouraging. Being helpful and looking for solutions means you get back to working together. This is also an opportunity to be encouraging while still setting limits.

Coaching your child through some feelings or simply setting clear and kind limits is often very helpful and effective.

 

a positive parenting to bad behavior

 

3.  Present a YES! alternative:

What if anything could your child do differently that is helpful, wanted and acceptable in the situation that you are in?

After focusing on being helpful and encouraging as you did in step 2, try to find something your child is ready and able to do.  Can your child help fix something the broke or clean up a spill? Is there a quiet and interesting game your child can play instead of running wild and screaming?

In presenting alternatives you are actively encouraging your child to rethink and change her behavior choices while highlighting her capabilities. Because you took the time to be helpful and encouraging, chances are much higher that your child will be ready and able to cooperate with you now.

These three steps are a great way to start addressing unhelpful behaviors in a positive way.

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Peace & Be Well,

Ariadne

Three Important Steps To Take After Yelling At Your Kids

Three Important Steps To Take After Yelling At Your Kids

Even if we can’t parent in the most nurturing ways all the time, the more often we can, the more our children get what they need, the better they will be able to weather the times when we parent in less nurturing ways. Learning to recover when we make a mistake really does help restore connection, models really important skills to our children and helps things shift back into the positive. It takes just 3 steps towards restoring connection. Continue Reading

Positive Discipline for Disruptive Classroom Behavior

Positive Discipline for Disruptive Classroom Behavior

Positive Discipline at Home & School for Turning Disruptive Behavior Around Do you have any suggestions for a child who may be seeking the attention of his classmates? He is being disruptive in class trying to get other children to pay attention to him. He is an only child and due to work, we don’t get… Continue Reading

40 Questions That Get Kids Talking

40 Questions That Get Kids Talking

One great way to encourage children to open up is to make a habit of cherishing daily conversations with your child. Conversations build connection. When children feel connected to their parent, they are more likely to feel well and be cooperative. When we pause and listen, we can really get to know so much about our children.… Continue Reading

One Sure Way To Encourage Cooperation in Early Childhood

One Sure Way To Encourage Cooperation in Early Childhood

One very challenging task in the early years of parenting is finding ways to encourage cooperation and listening. Toddlers and pre-schoolers are notorious for saying “NO!” “I can’t” and “I don’t want to!” especially in moments when we would like to hear “yes mama!” and “OK” In the name of getting things done, it is so… Continue Reading

3 Examples of Positive Parenting in Practice

3 Examples of Positive Parenting in Practice

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Dance Break: An Awesome Alternative to Time-Out

Dance Break: An Awesome Alternative to Time-Out

For me, Attachment Parenting is simply this; treat your kids how you want them to grow up and treat you and others in their lives. Is this type of parenting easy? NO! Is this hard in the face of the predictable intense and challenging moments of parenting? Yes!
But parenting isn’t for sissies, it’s hard, but our kids are worth our efforts. Continue Reading

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

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

When children lie, taking a break to cool off before addressing the situation can help you first find the emotional space and the right tools to move forward. An effective way to deal with lies is to remember the TRUTH: Traps, Respect, Understanding, Time Off and Honesty. Read on to find out more… Continue Reading

One of the Best Tools for Ending Morning Struggles

One of the Best Tools for Ending Morning Struggles

Is morning time turning out to be a tough transition for you and your child? Are power struggles leading to hectic and rushed mornings? Many of the parents I work with say that either getting out the door in the morning or putting the kids to bed at night is their most stressful time. Whether it’s due… Continue Reading

Three Positive Discipline Solutions For Demanding Behaviors

Three Positive Discipline Solutions For Demanding Behaviors

Underneath tantrums, entitled “me, mine, give me more” demands, back talking and power struggles is more than just your child being a brat. These unhelpful behaviors are actually messages from your child. What is motivating unhelpful behaviors can reveal what your child is feeling, thinking and deciding. In positive discipline, these unhelpful behaviors are thought… Continue Reading

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