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When Mommy's Little Angel Becomes Mommy's Little Monster

Everyone knows that children can usually be delightful, charming and affectionate angels that we normally adore. However, they also can have another side that presents parents and care-givers with some behaviors that are not so angelic and can range from slightly testy to downright diabolical and disobedient.  Those angelic smiles can turn to pouting grimacing scowls in absolute record time.  What are some effective techniques of positive discipline for children that parents can use to combat, what is in some cases, the never ending daily menu of fighting, yelling, tantrums, whining, arguing and teasing that their offspring dish up day in day out?

Positive Discipline for Children

All parents want to raise happy and capable youngsters, but exactly what is the best method of achieving that goal? Children of the past were generally seen and not heard, with discipline, punishments and consequences handed out by an angry father whose job it was to see that his children towed the line under all circumstances.

Fear was the tool of choice to keep children in check much of the time. Today's ideas about discipline for kids is thankfully, a little different to those that once included corporal punishments like strapping and hitting children for their negative or naughty behaviors. Ask any grown adult that has experienced such punishments as a child and the general consensus is that it is a very ineffective form of discipline when looking at the results in a larger perspecive.

Positive discipline for children has absolutely nothing to do with smacking or hitting children as a means to getting them to behave better. On the other hand, positive reinforcement is an approach that teaches children through the technique of natural consequences implemented within a loving, caring and helpful family relationship.

So, what does positive reinforcement for children look like?  Households that implement positive discipline for children use strategies by parents that allow children to take an active part in the decision making processes. The result is that these children learn quite quickly to think about what goes on in their lives and in particular the part they play in it. This permits kids to develop in all areas of life: socially, personally and spiritually as they learn through the natural consequences of their actions.

Another obvious benefit of using positive discipline for children is that those kids will be encouraged by a positive self-image that comes through letting them know that they are good and capable contributors of the family which will make a positive influence to their lives overall rather than the negative self-esteem that comes from being made to feel that they are bad and not capable of doing anything worthwhile which is clearly the result of more traditional corporal type punishments.

Spanking, yelling and humiliating children as a form of punishment or discipline rarely works, even in the short term as it merely builds resentment and ultimately serves to reinforce a role model that uses negativity and violence. The basics of all positive discipline are based on the "lead by example" model of teaching... monkey see, monkey do. Love and kindness is the focus of positive discipline although it is simultaneously assertive.

Homes with positive parenting and consequences always set clear and well-defined boundaries that also have scope for change when certain lessons have been learned and trust has been earned.  Kids need boundaries that let them know exactly where they stand and what to expect. By being firm but fair, kids learn the valuable lesson of conforming and fitting into the world which they will one day join  Home and school are perfect examples of a smaller but similar environment in which to learn many basic life skills that will equip them for situations and settings they will encounter in adulthood.  Kids who have had the benefit of positive discipline usually grow up to have the advantage of an internal moral compass to distinguish clearly what is right or wrong. These tools will assist them throughout their entire life.

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