Positive discipline focuses on the plus points of your child’s behaviour, instead of you yelling, scolding or nagging her. Proponents of this discipline method believe that it is possible to reinforce good behaviour in a kind, encouraging but firm manner.
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The child also learns to problem-solve and handle situations more appropriately. But note that this approach is not a quick fix, say the experts. It takes time, patience and consistency for it to be effective, says Dr Tzuo Pei-Wen Sophia, director of Emile Preschool.
3 / 8 1. My two-year-old refuses to share her toyLoad more
Tell your little one that it is okay if she is not ready to share that particular toy, Donus Loh, a consultant psychologist at W3ave, says.
“Some toys are more ‘important’ than others, so find out how important that toy is to the child. And see if there are other ‘less important’ toys that the child is able to share and encourage her from there,” he says.
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A parent who uses positive discipline will also model good behaviour. Foster the culture of sharing in your daily life and be a role model, Dr Tzuo says. “For example, tell the child that Mummy shares with you, and you can also share with Mummy.”
5 / 8 2. Every naptime is a battleLoad more
Establish a positive routine with a fixed sequence of typical daily activities before naptime. Praise your child when she achieves each step of the routine, Dr Tzuo says.
Find out why your little one does not want to nap. For example, if she wants to play, you could allow her to do that, but specify a time limit.
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“Put a five-minute timer on and say once the timer rings, then playtime ends and you will have to go take a nap. But first, you have to ensure your child is agreeable to this compromise,” Donus says.
There may be other possible reasons why your tot does not want to sleep, some of which may not be discipline-related – for instance, they don’t feel tired enough to sleep because of a lack of physical activities, or they may be eating too many sweets that make them feel hyper, Dr Tzuo says.
7 / 8 3. My kid bites or hits whenever she doesn’t get her wayLoad more
Understand why your child is biting – is she angry or fearful? – and then model the proper behaviour and/or language to express her feelings in a more appropriate manner, says Dr Tzuo.
“For example, you may teach your child to say ‘no’, call a teacher or walk away rather than bite or hit,” she says.
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Another hallmark of positive discipline is to also help the child understand how it might feel to be bitten or hit.
A way to do this is to through reading and story-telling. As you read the story, help your child understand how the different characters might feel, Dr Tzuo adds.