Positive Discipline and Character Development
Discipline is something that affects every area of a child’s life. If a parent disciplines in a way that demeans a child, the child could grow up to be a resentful, angry adult. If the parent disciplines in a way that is respectful, the child will have the opportunity to grow as someone who gives respect to the world around them. What is positive discipline, and how is it essential in the character development of your child?
What Is Positive Discipline?
Positive discipline is the idea that there are no bad children. There are good and bad behaviors, and positive discipline focuses on the child’s good behaviors. When we focus on the behavior as the issue, while still affirming the child, it reinforces that the child is worthy and special. It corrects behavior while avoiding making the child feel “small.”
We are not respecting our children when we yell or belittle them. Some of the traditional discipline methods use manipulation to try to force a child to behave well. This can erode a child’s confidence as they close themselves off from interactions they fear may be negative. Out of necessity and self-preservation, a child’s character growth will be negatively affected as they look out for themselves above anyone else.
This is simply not an acceptable way for adults to behave. As parents, we are beginning to realize that respect is a two-way street, and that instead of demanding respect from our children we must model it to them as well. Our children may not have reached adulthood yet, but they don’t respond any better to manipulation and negativity better than anyone else.
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Does Not Promote Bullying
Hurting your child to make them behave is ineffective. Even worse, it is a form of bullying. It teaches your child to be both a bully and a victim. The short-term results it might appear to give do not make up for the long-term damage.
When a child feels intimidated and fearful of their parents, it destroys the attachment between them and lowers a child’s self-esteem. Positive discipline is gentle, and fosters positive feelings that lead to positive behaviors. This gives them the character traits of compassion and kindness that will give them a satisfying life.
Teaches Children How to be Good Parents
Many of us are parenting in one of two ways… just like our parents, or the opposite of our parents. There is a tendency to go in an extremely different direction than what we were raised, if we have been hurt by those parenting methods. Positive discipline avoids extremism. This gives our children a strong foundation and knowledge that someday they too might be loving and effective parents to their own children. The kind of character that this parenting method encourages is strong and healthy.
If we desire strong character traits in our children, then positive discipline is one of the greatest gifts we can give to them. Positive discipline gently guides children to become a better person, while feeling good about themselves. It allows a child’s self-esteem to grow, which in turn builds strength of character. Give your child the strong foundations of love and positive discipline so they can become someone they are proud to be.
Here is a related resource about “Setting Personal Goals“.
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