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Positive discipline maintains children's self-esteem Positive discipline maintains children's self-esteem

Positive discipline maintains children's self-esteem

A good parent does not have to forget that "children who feel good about themselves don’t misbehave" and "children with good behavior have good self-esteem".

To be a good parent for your child you must remember that you have to punish the behavior, not the child. Children are very sensitive to the parent’s words, so learn to control your language and messages.

Remember to praise your child not only for a success but also for the effort invested. However painful it might seem initially, be truthful.

It is recommended to say to your child "I love you very much, but I don’t like what you just did. You are not a bad boy, but what you just did is not acceptable". For example, if your child doesn’t make the soccer team, avoid saying something like, "Well, next time you will work harder and you have to make it". Instead, say something like, "Well you didn’t make the team but I am proud of the effort you put into it". Reward effort and completion instead of outcomes.

Children should learn the consequences of misbehaving right away, but a punishment has to be announced only in a calm, composed, and unemotional manner. While sometimes you cannot avoid scolding your child, positive reinforcement is a far more effective feedback mechanism than punishment. Tell the child how much you appreciate his/her help or the nice way that he/she is playing with other children.

As parents, we must help our children understand the relationships between actions and consequences. When doing it, we should be consistent and unemotional.

In any attempts at improving your parenting skills try to start from the three F's of Effective Disciplining. Discipline should be:

Firm: Consequences should be clearly stated and then adhered to when the inappropriate behavior occurs.
Fair: The punishment should fit the "crime". For any recurring consequences of inappropriate behavior, the "negative reward" should be stated in advance so the child knows what to expect. Using a simple time out can be effective if you resort to this negative reinforcement every time the punished behavior occurs. The positive counterpart of this measure would be a reward offered for days when no time-outs or only a few time-outs are received.
Friendly: Use a friendly but firm communication style when letting children feel they have behaved inappropriately and let them know they will suffer the appropriate consequences. Encourage them to remember what they should do to avoid future "punishments". Work on caching them being good and praise them for any appropriate behaviors. Rather than telling them what to avoid doing, teach and show your children what they should do.
Positive discipline might help you raise your children more confident in themselves and more efficient in what they do.

Books on self-esteem

Positive discipline maintains children's self-esteem