Positive Discipline – my key take-aways

One of the most stressful part of being a mom (for me), is paving the path to the right direction for my son. I always second guess myself, wondering if  I’m doing things right. What if I’m not doing a proper job and my son turns out to be a bully, a delinquent or worse, a criminal! Yes, I’m that paranoid. hahaha.

I know that for Liam to grow up into a decent man, I need to do my job to discpline him, starting at a young age. But then, that leaves me wondering, how should I discipline him? Should I use an iron fist to discipline ? But he might resent me for that. Should I be more lenient? But leniency may result to rebellion. And so on and so forth. 

Don’t get me wrong, I have indeed hit / smacked Liam a couple times before out of sheer desperation and exhaustion. But it always left me feeling bad, really bad that I’ll keep kissing him while he sleeps and wishing that I can take it all back. I also have a problem of detaching emotion. Usually when I hit him, I am already at my boiling point – which is a bad combination. Anything can go from bad to worse at the blink of an eye. So I’ve been thinking that handing out corporal punishment is not really my thing and I want to try another approach. 

So when n@wie / friend jenny (of chronicles of a nursing mom) posted in n@w about positive disciplining, it immediately got my attention. And I immediately signed up for the orientation / class when Jenny said that she is organizing one for nawies. Before going to the class, I downloaded and read the PDF version of the book. (You can download it here for free)

The 1-day orientation was designed and being facilitated by Save the Children. My key take-aways from the orientation are:

  • Positive discipline is based on children’s rights to healthy development, protection from violence and participation in their learning. It is the parents’, and the people around the child, to provide a healthy environment for him to develop to his potential. 
  • Physical punishment causes kids to develop higher verbal and physical aggression. It also causes children to close up and not share / talk to parents. 
  • Corporal punishment may be physical or verbal. I was surprised to learn that “time outs” or “face the wall” may be considered as corporal punishments!
  • Corporal punishment does not solve the problem. It might make your child stop what they are doing (which is what you want) but it doesn’t stop them from doing it again in the future. Or worse, they will just figure out how to do it without you finding out the next time!
  • The building blocks of positive discipline is built on: 1. identifying long term goals (what you want your child to become); 2. Provide warmth and structure; 3. Understanding how your child thinks or feels;  4.Problem solving.
  • Warmth is important – loving, holding, hugging, giving affirmations, these are basic things that you can do to provide “warmth” to your kids. 
  • Positive disciplining is neither permissive nor dictatorial. It’s about setting rules and limits that are acceptable to parent and child. Open communication is very important. It is important to listen to your child’s point of view as well. 
  • Children have their own temperaments. It is our responsibility as parents to understand our child’s temperament and set structure based on this. Basically, nothing is one size fits all. 

I have to admit, it’s not easy. I have a loooonggggg way to go before I can say I am successful at positive disciplining. 

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