Do you think raising kids today is a lot different than when you were a child or when your parents were children? Well, you're right. Role models have changed since the 1950's where children were often "seen but not heard". Now there are fewer models of submissiveness and obedience. Gone are the days when Mother would quietly submit to whatever Dad said or did because it was the acceptable thing to do. Dreikurs, author of Children the Challenge, said, "When Dad lost control of Mom, they both lost control of the children". Family pressures of working mothers, televisions, computers, cell phones and video games can seem to make a practical, result oriented parenting style more difficult than ever. Some parents stick with punishment as their main form of discipline for fear that their children will have no respect for authority and will have total freedom to do as they please. But, it doesn't have to be that way.
When my children were very young, I took a parenting class based on the book, Children the Challenge by Rudolf Dreikurs, the "bible" from which several parenting book series developed. One of the best known is the Positive Discipline series by Jane Nelsen, Ed.D. based on the work of Alfred Adler and Rudolf Dreikurs and on the experience of being a mother to 7 and grandmother to 20!. The focus is on learning practical parenting skills so children stop misbehaving, learn self-discipline, become responsible, cooperate and have problem solving skills so they can be productive, happy adults.
We have found the Positive Discipline series to be superior in teaching parents the benefits of respectful parenting. Understanding the key to children's misbehavior, responding with kind but firm discipline and focusing on solutions rather than punishment, any child from the "terrible twos" to a "defiant teen" can be supported in becoming respectful, cooperative and responsible. The Positive Discipline books are frequently revised to include examples of current parenting challenges and have continued to refine Dreikurs work to bring better tools to the important job of child rearing that are non-punitive and effective. Promoting a step by step approach to developing a long term strategy of kind and firm discipline, author Jane Nelsen continues to speak and write keeping the positive discipline concepts timely and effective.
We use the Positive Discipline books for several reasons.
Positive Discipline books continue to be updated and revised
Positive Discipline uses examples that are current with today's culture and problems
Positive Discipline promotes discipline that focuses on solutions rather than logical consequences
Positive Discipline challenges the idea that children need to feel bad to do better
Positive Discipline redefines time-outs as positive rather than punitive
Positive Discipline emphasizes kind and firm discipline without being permissive
Positive Discipline is non-punitive and non-violent principles is an ideal for those parents with a history of domestic violence
Positive Discipline emphasizes understanding why adults are responsible for many behavior problems
Positive Discipline gives us resources to enhance our online classes with audio and video
Positive Discipline author, Jane Nelson, Ed.D. continues to write, lecture and present workshops
Choose the Right Parenting Class for You
Positive Discipline describes three main parenting styles when interacting with children. Strictness, permissiveness and positive discipline and gives you these examples:
Strictness —"These are the rules by which you must abide, and this is the punishment you will receive for violation of the rules." Children are not involved in the decision making process.
Positive Discipline — "Together we will decide on rules for our mutual benefit. We will also decide together on solutions that will be helpful to all concerned when we have problems. When I must use my judgment without your input, I will use firmness with kindness, dignity and respect."
Parents that are too strict and controlling have many rules that are created without any discussions with their children. The parents create the rules and the children must abide by them, period. There is order but the price is no freedom, or choices. Children can feel threatened, have little opportunity to learn to make good choices and often become defiant or too passive.
Parents that are permissive, allow their children too much freedom and no order. Children have unlimited choices and no boundaries. These children are not pleasant to be around and grow up without learning important life skills. Giving in to your children will teach them to become tyrants, always getting what they want, without regard to others.
Positive Discipline is based on the concept that children want to belong and contribute. When you think about it, no one behaves well by being shamed and made to feel guilty. There are better ways to to help your children learn respect and responsibility. With the positive discipline approach, your children participate in making decisions that affect them based on limited choices that show respect for all involved. Rules and good behavior are encouraged and enforced with both firmness and kindness.
Nelsen provides four questions to ask yourself to creating long term, effective discipline.
Are you being respectful and encouraging?
Do your children feel as though they belong?
Is what you're doing effective long-term?
Does it teach them to be concerned about others, teach cooperation and accountability?
If you find yourself doing a lot of talking and feel your children aren't listening, continue to deal with the same misbehavior over and over, have concern that your children are out of control, feel that parenting is too much work, or you are interested in putting an effective, practical parenting approach to work in your family, our Online Parenting Classes based on positive discipline are just what you are looking for.
You can stop yelling, bribing, spanking and grounding. End the power struggles with your children improve the relationship you have with your children. You can feel good about the techniques in this book. It is possible for you to raise a respectful and responsible child and create a loving connection with your child for years to come.