Me and my kiddo

Me and my kiddo

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Positive Discipline Tool Cards

I participate in an online parenting group and I've particularly enjoyed a recent development there.  Each week, one of the members picks and writes about a Positive Discipline Tool Card.  The tools that are covered are all focused on positive ways to help a child develop independence.  Discipline is all about enforcing natural consequences, not punishments; the focus is on guidance over forced compliance.  Anyway, I'm loving this process and looking forward to each week.  I hosted a couple weeks ago and wanted to share what I wrote.  I'm going to start sharing these tool cards with my kiddo too so he can practice these respectful ways of interacting right back :)

Tool Card Monday:
Validate Feelings and Winning Cooperation
I picked these two because I think they're such a game changing skill in parenting. It makes parenting so much more fun for both kid and parent when you use them (and they're great outside of parenting too, of course). As you can see, "Winning Cooperation" starts with "Validating Feelings" so they're nested skills. I think responding to kids' big emotions can be one of the hardest things to cope with as a new parent. Toddlers and early preschoolers especially can be so exasperating when you just want them to see the big picture they're missing, but they're too upset to understand… you're out of bananas, the park is closed, a particular dog hates kids, a tool works a particular way, rat poison isn't for eating… they're just screaming mad and can't hear you and you can feel so stuck as a parent with this distraught, pre-rational creature. Validating Feelings is a life saver skill to foster as one's default, first thing, immediate response when in this situation. It's an awesome basis for getting cooperation and in a much more pleasant manner for all. (I do think step 4 requires some modifying for age since younger kids are going to need help in that working out process, but giving them some time is still helpful.) Moving on to "Winning Cooperation" then from a place where a kid feels heard and you aren't super aggravated is so much easier. You haven't agreed that they get to sample the rat poison or nuzzle noses with the fear-biting dog, but you've given them the chance to be heard and to calm down and, potentially, understand aspects of the situation that they didn't before. Of course they may not the first or tenth time, but that's the growing process. Kids can be so creative once they can hear you and solutions are often much more innovative and pleasant for all. I find using these skills not only fosters that growing independence in kids, it also makes my day to day parenting life so much more rich and happy.



(The whole deck is available on Amazon.)
(The whole deck is available on Amazon.)

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