There are a few encouragements I keep floating around the house:
- Attachment Parenting incorporates the "Golden Rule" of parenting; parents should treat their children the way they want to be treated.
- You have a choice in every single interaction with your child: choose kindness.
- The ultimate goal of discipline is to help children develop self-control and self-discipline.
I have several books on my night stand waiting to be read about positive discipline. Some of these are on my reading list for this year. Others will have to wait. But I'm going to read them and implement the things that work.
- Playful Parenting
- Raising our Children, Raising Ourselves
- Unconditional Parenting (the bible of positive discipline)
- How to Talk so Kids will Listen and Listen so Kids will Talk
- The Discipline Book
- Kids, Parents, and Power Struggles
Here are two other websites I've found really helpful:
This is straight from the link to the parenting principle and is so good to remember, I might hang it on the fridge.
Tools for Positive Discipline
I think this is where I falter in my parenting the most. I think I tend to be harsh and callous. I want to be patient and kind and gentle, but I think I get mad too fast. I might take it personally when the kids do things like fight with each other, don't listen when I ask them to do something, or empty all the toys in a pile on the playroom floor.
The techniques we use for discipline don't always seem like discipline.
- Time Out: a minute per year on the white bench in the kitchen. They aren't allowed to play or talk. And they have to sit there until the timer goes off. When the time is done, we talk with them about why they had to sit there, what the correct action would have been, and if necessary, there are apologies. And always hugs & kisses.
- Time In: cuddle them up on our laps until they're ready to get down.
- A Break: this is time alone in the playroom, on the couch, in the bedroom. Untimed. Just go there, read some books, play by yourself. Come down when you're ready.
- Try Again: This is for door slamming, yelling, being rude, whining. Usually, I just say "excuse me?" or "when you're done whining, you can ask me again" or I just tell them what to say, "Mom, can I have some milk, please?"
- 1, 2, 3: Jamey is a slow mover. Counting motivates him or at least gives him a warning that I'm serious.
A note on forcing apologies: we do. We are trying to teach them that when you do something that hurts someone else, you have to apologize. I really hope we're also teaching compassion and sensitivity to others. But really, we want them to be polite.
Other things we do when things are getting tense or there is a lot of fighting, yelling, not cooperating
- reading books together
- playing a game
- finding a snack
- coloring/doing school pages
- Run & Touch
- piling on the big bed. I don't know what it is about this, but if I take all three kids up to our bed and just lay there with them, all's well. We don't nap or call it a "rest" or anything. It usually happens when Livy wakes up from her second nap. We all go up there and snuggle her as she wakes up and nurse. Good time together.
- Let's Call Grandma
- take a long bath alone (Ivy gets to go first with as many toys as she wants, then it's Jamey's turn)
- And when things are particularly tough, we watch a movie or late afternoon PBS cartoons until Daddy gets home and saves us.