Disciplining your child is one of the hardest things to do as a parent because it is a tricky technique that’s hard to master. All children sometimes act out, especially when they want something, and learning how to minimise and manage this unpleasant behaviour is difficult.
Now, one thing that is very important and often underestimated when it comes to disciplining children is the role that positive reinforcement plays. Many parents think that punishment is the best way to control their children’s behaviour but without reinforcement or encouragement, this method will still be useless.
Rewarding the Good
Positive reinforcement, by definition, is the rewarding of good behaviour in order to make a positive change. Punishment, in contrast, is the administering of negative actions, such as time-outs, to reduce bad behaviour—this is often what parents do.
To discipline properly, you must also be at the ready to point out the good that a child does. When a child is behaving and playing appropriately, tell him or her that. Often, acting out is a way to get attention, so if they receive positive attention when they do good, they will be more inclined to choose it over bad behaviour.
Your Child’s Point of View
When learning how to manage a child’s behaviour, try to see the situation from his or her perspective. This may give you greater insight on how to deal with unacceptable behaviour.
Punishments have their place, but if bad behaviour continues despite these, there may be a deeper problem. If that is the case, talk to your child and try to help them through anything they may be feeling. If the problem goes on for too long, there is no shame in consulting a professional.
The Positive Side
Positive reinforcement is an effective means in disciplining of your child. When he or she performs a good behaviour, point it out with a cheerful “good job!” If behavioural problems persist, there may be a underlying problem, so try to talk with your child.
To learn more about how we discipline and manage behaviour at Cuddles, call the St James centre at +61 (08) 9358 4673, the Carlisle centre at +61 (08) 9472 4702 and the Bertram centre at +61 (08) 9419 1844.