The Positive Parent Project bases all its trainings on the Positive Discipline approach to child-raising. Our work is founded on the principle that for children to become responsible, respectful and resourceful members of their communities the way parents interact with their children needs to reflect these same principals.
Positive Discipline focuses on bringing out the best in children and ourselves in a way that is deeply respectful and encouraging for both children and adults. It intends to give children a healthy model to copy as they move out into the world and interact with those around them. We believe the role of the parents and child-carers in each child's life is to teach them social- and life- skills in a manner that is respectful, nurturing & kind to both the children and the adults.
Positive Discipline is an approach to child-raising works on the premise that for children to 'do' better, first they need to 'feel' better (instead of being made to feel worse; in fact aren't we all like that too?) and that there are no bad children, just some bad behaviours that need to be moulded into good ones. We want parents to be healthy, strong guides and mentors for their kids and we want children to WANT to do good and WANT to maintain a strong, happy relationship with their parents at all costs (instead of being forced to or having to). So we believe that adults need to treat children with firmness, respect AND kindness at the same time maintaining a balance that is neither permissive nor punitive (and not swinging from one side to the other with inconsistency either!).
The five criteria for using Positive Discipline.
Ask is what we're doing..?
1. Mutually respectful and encouraging? (Kind and firm at the same time.)
2. Helping children feel a sense of connection? (am I building a sense of belonging, importance and love in my child?)
3. Effective long-term? (am I considering what my child is thinking, feeling, learning, and deciding about himself and his world and what to do in the future to survive or to thrive or am I just dealing with this very moment?)
4. Teaching important social and life skills? (am I modelling respect, concern for others, problem solving, and co-operation as well as the skills to contribute to the home, school or larger community?)
5. Inviting children to discover how capable they are? (Am I encouraging the constructive use of personal power and autonomy in my child or shutting them down?)
Five components of Connective Parenting
Positive Discipline has been successfully taught to thousands of parents & schools around the world.
Created by Lynn Lot and Jane Nelson through their wonderful series of Positive Discipline books and aids, it is a discipline model used by schools, and in parenting, that focuses on the positive points of behaviour. It is based on the idea that there are no bad children, just good and bad behaviours. We believe all children (and indeed all humans!) are being driven by a need to find love and acceptance (yet sometimes they go about getting this love and acceptance in the wrong ways). Using Positive Discipline we can teach and reinforce the good behaviors while weaning the bad behaviours without hurting the child verbally or physically. We do this using a number of heart-centred parenting tools (see My Favourite Tools section for more).
People engaging in positive discipline are not ignoring problems. Rather, they are actively involved in helping their child learn how to handle situations more appropriately while remaining calm, friendly and respectful to the children themselves. Positive Discipline includes a number of different techniques that, used in combination, can lead to a more effective way for parents to manage their kids behaviour, or for teachers to manage groups of students. It promotes positive decision making, teaching expectations to children early, and encouraging positive behaviours, while developing confidence and self-responsibility.
Positive discipline contrasts with negative discipline. Negative discipline may involve angry, destructive, or violent responses to inappropriate behaviour. The focus of positive discipline is to establish reasonable limits and guide children to take responsibility to stay within these limits, or learn how to remedy the situation when they don't.
The tools and concepts of Positive Discipline include:
If this resonates with the kind of parenting approach you'd like to use with your children please contact us to find out how we can bring one of our Learn to Use Positive Discipline workshops to your home or school.
Ginny Johnstone is a certified Positive Discipline Parent Educator, consultant and Heal Your Life coach specialising in teaching conscious parenting ideas and self-awareness tools to parents and teachers in South Africa.