Connection comes before correction. The goal of positive discipline is to teach by first creating safe relationships with children.
Positive discipline and the Montessori way of learning go hand in hand.
Positive discipline promotes more skillful behaviours through a strong relationship with the child, active listening, empathy and validation. It does not try to manage problem behaviours through carrots and sticks. It:
- Helps children feel a sense of connection: Creates belonging and significance.
- Is mutually respectful and encouraging: Is kind and firm at the same time.
- Is effective in the long-term: Considers what the children are thinking and feeling, learning and deciding about themselves, their world and what to do to survive and thrive.
- Teaches important social skills: Leads to cooperation, respect, concern for others
- Invites children to discover their own capacities: Encourages constructive use of personal power and autonomy.
Here are some tips various experts suggest:
➤Wait until you are calm before having a problem-solving discussion with the child. This gives you some time for reflection and you are modelling this as an important skill for the child.
➤Show respect by listening to and acknowledging the child’s feelings. This also helps build connection.
➤Reassure the child that you care.
➤Use ‘I’ Statements instead of ‘you’ statements. This is less critical and the child will feel less defensive. “I see there is a lot of water on the floor” rather than “You made a mess with water again”.
➤Ask the child to identify how what happened might have affected others. Help him or her to come up with a plan for reconciliation if others were hurt or there was damage to property.