There are two ways you can approach parenting: one, from a reactive place and two, from a proactive place. Although you need to know and consistently use a simple, loving and effective discipline approach like I teach my clients to learn proactive parenting strategies to avoiding misbehavior in the first place.
What are the benefits of learning these “avoidance” or proactive strategies, other than not having to discipline so much? Well, all of the proactive parenting strategies actually deepen the bond you have with your child causing your child to want to refrain from misbehaving. Having close, emotional bonds with your child also ensures that their emotional “tank” is filled, so they don’t NEED to misbehave to try and get something they feel is missing.
Over and above this, using proactive parenting strategies increases your child’s sense of self-worth by helping them create the image and accepting the image that they are trustworthy, responsible, respectful and cooperative.
Listed below are my top 15 positive parenting strategies parents can take to help prevent misbehavior and the need for discipline.
- Set clear, consistent rules.
- Make certain the environment is safe and worry-free.
- Show interest in the child’s activities.
- Provide appropriate and engaging playthings.
- Encourage self-control by providing meaningful choices.
- Focus on the desired behavior, rather than the one to be avoided.
- Build children’s images of themselves as trustworthy, responsible and cooperative.
- Expect the best from the child.
- Give clear directions, one at a time.
- Say “Yes” whenever possible.
- Notice and pay attention to children when they do things right.
- Take action before a situation gets out of control.
- Encourage children often and generously.
- Set a good example.
- Help children see how their actions affect others.
It is important for you to remember that child misbehavior is impossible to prevent completely. They are learning about how their world works by experimenting, and lucky you, you get to be their professor! Now, although misbehavior is normal, that doesn’t mean it has to be constant or intense. Mild misbehavior is what we’re after.
We want to shorten their learning curve and the way to use the proactive strategies listed above consistently. Doing this, you will prevent 90 percent of misbehaviors. For the other 10 percent, learn a simple, loving and effective method to discipline and be consistent with it.