It is important to remember that the purpose of discipline is learning. Discipline is not about punishing a child. It is about teaching them the appropriate way to behave. There are a few things to remember to help parents keep things positive and help focus on learning.
Say yes and avoid the word no. Instead of telling your child what not to do, tell them what they can do. Try to remember that children are learning to play. It is our job to show them how. Instead of saying “don’t throw the blocks” say “we can build a tower with the blocks” or “can you stack the blocks?” Make sure that you give lots of praise when they do.
There are time when you have to tell your child no. Make sure to give short simple explanations so that they begin to understand why that behavior is not appropriate. For example instead of telling your child “don’t hit your brother” you can say “You should not hit your brother. It hurts when you hit and it makes your brother sad”
Make sure to have clear expectations or rules and give numerous reminders of those expectations or rules before your child has a chance to break them. Make sure your expectations are based on your child’s development. Expecting your curious two year old to stay next or hold your hand to you at the store may be asking too much of them. It would be more appropriate to have them in a cart or stroller and take away the temptation of wandering off on an adventure.
Don’t sweat the small stuff. Too many rules are hard to remember so don’t go overboard. Set a few rules, but make them count. For example; be safe, be kind and be respectful. These three rules are easy to remember and can cover almost anything that come up from preschool through to college if need be.