We know from a body of research that the ability to self-soothe, delay gratification, and meet emotional needs are the most necessary skills for our children’s long-term success. In fact, studies have shown that these skills may be more important than IQ scores and as such, have become a core focus for parenting today.
Knowing where to focus should make parenting easier and yet why do so many parents always feel exhausted, that their patience is eternally thin and tried and that they are just “out of ideas” for ways to have their child “get with the program”? Parents are not using their number one tool, Mindful Discipline, to enrich the lives of their children. Instead, parents are frequently using discipline as punitive punishment, whether purposefully or not. Sadly, it is all too easy for parents to fall into the trap of giving time outs, threatening and yelling – even when it is known that these types of discipline do not work with children, at all.
The science of brain development teaches us that the brain is, first and foremost, a survival organ. When a child’s brain feels nurtured, loved and safe, it is in an optimal position for growth, learning and progress. This growth comes from parental education and positive discipline. So, what does this look like? What types of tools should every parent have in their Parenting Tool Kit to better discipline their child(ren)?
Discipline is not about punishment; it is about learning right from wrong. And there are very specific adults, in your children's lives, who share in the responsibility of teaching right from wrong. Parents and teachers make up your child’s Parenting Team. It is this team who is solely responsible for teaching your children about developmentally appropriate behavior, with carefully narrated and respectful examples for what is behaviorally right versus wrong.
Next time you are yelling at or “disciplining” your child, stop and think, what am I teaching my child right now, in this moment? Most of the time, the answer is that, despite best intentions, a parent is actually modeling incorrect behavior and triggering the brain into fight or flight mode. Have you noticed that when a child is tantruming, if you try to “reason” in the moment, your child will only escalate? What happens if you send your child to the time out chair? Do they have the ability to be properly reflective and do they return with a heartfelt apology? Probably not. If we want our children’s behaviors to improve, we need to learn to discipline with respect, logical consequences and positive role modeling.
Mindful and positive discipline that takes into account your child's cognitive
development, is paramount to raising happy, respectful and well-behaved children. Engaging your child’s brain in this type of discipline will create a happier child and you, the parents, will reap the rewards of that behavior for years to come.
Join me, Tuesday, Dec 5th, as we discuss The Intersection of Mindful and Positive Discipline, your child’s brain and what it means to raise happy children. I will give you the Discipline tools you want and your children need. Let’s build your Parenting Toolkit, together. For more information and to join me for this FREE event, please RSVP here