10 Positive Principles of Discipline

Written by Katharine C. Kersey

The 101 Positive Principles of Discipline

“It’s Never OK to Hit a Child.”

Discipline means to teach and train. Punishment (inflicting pain/purposeful injury) is unnecessary and counter-productive.

“Discipline is a slow, bit by bit, time-consuming task of helping children to see the sense in acting a certain way.” J. Hymes

The Top Ten Principles

    1. Demonstrate Respect Principle – Treat the child the same way you treat other important people in your life – the way you want him to treat you – and others. (How would I want her to say that to me?)

    2. Make a Big Deal Principle – Make a big deal over responsible, considerate, appropriate behavior – with attention (your eyeballs), thanks, praise, thumbs-up, recognition, hugs, special privileges, incentives (NOT food).

    3. Incompatible Alternative Principle – Give the child something to do that is incompatible with the inappropriate behavior. “Help me pick out 6 oranges” (instead of running around the grocery store). If your husband is annoying you by playing his Gameboy, instead of berating him, simply ask him to help you by drying the dishes.

    4. Choice Principle – Give the child two choices, both of which are positive and acceptable to you. “Would you rather tiptoe or hop upstairs to bed?” (“You choose or I’ll choose.”) This can be used with spouses. “The garage needs to be cleaned out. Would you rather do it tonight or Saturday?”

    5. When/Then – Abuse it/Lose it Principle – “When you have finished your homework, then you may watch TV.” (No homework – no TV.)

    6. Connect Before You Correct Principle – Be sure to “connect” with a child – get to know him and show him that you care about him – before you begin to try to correct his behavior. This works well when relating to parents, too. Share positive thoughts with them about their child before you attack the problems!

    7. Validation Principle – Acknowledge (validate) his wants and feelings. “I know you feel angry with your teacher and want to stay home from school. I don’t blame you. The bus will be here in 45 minutes.”

    8. Good Head on Your Shoulders Principle – Tell your child – frequently – especially as s/he reaches the teen years – “You have a good head on your shoulders. You decide. I trust your judgment.” This brings out the best in the child and shows him/her that eventually he will be in charge of his own life and responsible for his/her own decisions.

    9. Belonging and Significance Principle – Remember that everyone needs to feel that s/he belongs and is significant. Help your child to feel important by giving him important jobs to do and reminding him that if he doesn’t do them, they don’t get done! Help him/her feel important by being responsible.

    10. Timer Says it’s Time Principle – Set a timer to help children make transitions. “When the timer goes off, you will need to put away your books.” “In five minutes, we will need to line up for lunch.” It is also a good idea to give the child a chance to choose how long he needs to pull himself together. “It’s okay to be upset, how long do you need?” Then allow him to remove himself from the group and set the timer. You may offer the child a choice (and set the timer) when it’s necessary for him to do something he doesn’t want to do. “Do you want to pick up your toys/let Susan have the wagon/take your bath -in one minute or two?”

Activities to do with children!!!

A resource from Mudpie Mama

Here are 60 Activitiy ideas for special time with Preschoolers and School Aged children.

Pre-schoolers: 3-5 yrs
A sure fire way to have successful special time with pre-schoolersis letting them choose the activity and lead the way. Telling mom or dad how to walk across a silly obstacle course or watching a parent get messy hands while cooking up mudpies or slaptiscally fall over playing catch is sure to invite laughter and happiness.

Some ideas for special time with Pre-schoolers:
1. Read funny stories
2. Bake a delicious treat
3. Draw portraits of each other
4. Cook up mudpies
5. Stew some rock soup
6. Build a windsock
7. Paint rock critters
8. Have a picnic on the lawn
9. Play with sidewalk-chalk
10. Go on a scavenger hunt
11. Pretend beauty parlor/barber shop
12. Make a balloon popping maze
13. Plant a vegetable garden
14. Hunt for worms
15. Play sink or swim with paper boats and rocks
16. Splash water around with measuring cups
17. Set up a pirate/viking/dinosaur theme hour
18. Play “simon says” (take turns being “simon”)
19. Go bird watching – with binoculars!
20. Play freeze tag

School Age Children: 6yrs and up
School age children sometimes start thinking time with mom and dad is lame so keeping special time as a ritual, a weekly tradition on a set day/time, is a great way to not lose this very important time together. Also, letting your child choose the activity and making it irresistible, not with bribes but by choosing something you both enjoy and giving your child your full attention (not walking away because they can do the task alone or the phone rings) is really important.Ideas for special time with School aged children:

1. Build a wind chime
2. Paint a bird house/feeder
3. Cook a meal the child chooses
4. Create a wind catcher
5. Create canvas paintings
6. Tie die T-shirts
7. Create a family Logo
8. Write up a story and illustrate it
9. Build a kite
10. Build with scraps of wood
11. Paint and plant a flower pot
12. Create coffee filter Butterflies
13. Paint with balls & ramps
14. Make pipe-cleaner critters
15. Paint with side-walk chalk
16. Play hop scotch
17. Let the Children build you an obstacle course
18. Trace shadows
19. Play animal, plant,mineral
20. Play spray bottle tag
21. Dig for Dinosaur bones
22. Have a bucket relay race
23. Float paper boats in the pond
24. Jump in puddles
25. Go on a worm hunt
26. Build a fort
27. Have a space theme hour
28. Go on Treasure Hunt
29. Listen to your child read
30. Build a rope maze
31. Try origami
32. Take a color hunting hike
33. Make a garden art jar
34. Build a water wall
35. Shoot hoops
36. Play a ball game
37. Take a bike ride
38. Take a walk by the beach/lake/pond
39. Sit and listen to your child talk
40. Star Gaze and sip hot cocoa