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Discipline

Discipline is used to guide children's behaviour and teach them right from wrong. There are many forms of discipline, but most experts believe the best form is positive discipline. Positive discipline is based on a caring, cooperative relationship between parents and children. Using positive discipline consistently is likely to decrease the number of times your child misbehaves while also teaching her positive life skills.

  1. If your child misbehaves, use this as an opportunity to teach her positive behaviours and explain how those actions may have hurt others.
  2. Explain why you have rules and explain why there may be differences for different family members (younger children will not have the same consequences as older children when they misbehave). It's important to your child that the rules are fair and make sense.
  3. Have your child help around the house as this will teach him responsibility and life skills.
  4. Use cooperation, problem solving and compromising when appropriate. Let your child know that you understand his feelings but that the problem must be solved. (I know it is hard to say sorry, but you need to apologize for hurting his feelings.) Also discuss ways you can prevent the problem from occurring in the future.
  5. Always praise your child for her best efforts and use of problem solving and cooperating. Your child will love to hear praise and is more likely to use these positive strategies in the future if she will be rewarded.
  6. Reduce the likelihood of misbehaviour. If you are going somewhere that is likely to be boring for your child, bring activities along to keep her entertained.
  7. Remember that your child is not perfect. There will be times when he misbehaves because he is hungry, tired, sick or just not feeling himself for some reason. It is better to care for his needs than to discipline in most of these situations.

If you'd like to learn more about positive discipline and behaviour management techniques, click on the link to Manitoba's Positive Parenting Program (Triple P), a website that has lots of good information for parents. You can also call the Triple P help line to ask questions, or join the Triple P program in your neighbourhood, at 204-945-4777 in Winnipeg or toll free 1-877-945-4777.

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