by Lyn Lomasi, Staff Writer
Positive discipline consists of more than disciplining your child in a calm manner. Positive discipline for children should consist of steps that lead to the child's well-being and development, teach a lesson about the issue at hand, and not be condescending in nature. In positive discipline for children, the action taken should lead to the child understanding why his or her behavior was wrong, as well as teach that child a life lesson that will help to prevent similar incidents in the future.
First, there are a few things to remember about positive discipline for children. Every family will not follow the exact same methods, as every family is different. Also, different methods should apply to different situations. A child who has hit another child should not be getting the same form of positive discipline as a child who forgot to make his bed before breakfast.
Different misbehaviors have different consequences and the discipline should fit accordingly. Also, remember to always follow through. Any form of positive discipline for children that is discussed, yet not carried out, will be ineffective. Not following through shows a child that he or she can do certain things without consequences and that isn't a good idea because that is not how the world works.
Daily Chore Add-Ons - One good form of positive discipline for children is to add on an extra daily chore for a week. Doing this can teach a child responsibility. At the same time, it also teaches a child that there are consequences for actions.
Misbehavior Journal - Another good form of positive discipline is to have a journal for each time a child misbehaves. The child should write down what his or her feelings were during the time of the act, as well as why he or she committed the misbehavior. This should be a private journal between parent and child. None of the children should ever see each other's journals. Once the child has written down the thoughts, the parent should in turn, respond to those thoughts with understanding, as well as a way for the child to resolve that type of situation in the future.
Behavior Money Jar - I also like to keep a jar for each kid in a place easily accessible by older children, but out of reach of younger children. In each kid's jar is any money they have that isn't for savings. Each time one of the kids does something that hurts another in some way, they have to take out a pre-determined amount (depending on what they've done) and place it into the child's jar who they've hurt or offended. Each time they do something good for someone, I might place a certain amount of money into their jar, but not always. This form of positive discipline for children reflects what may happen in adult life. In adult life, if we hurt someone, we are likely going to be paying for it in the long run. Likewise, if we do good deeds, eventually they will come back around. However, it doesn't work that way every single time, which is why I only give the money sometimes.
Volunteering - Volunteer work is also a great form of positive discipline. You never want to insinuate that the volunteering is a form of punishment because that sends the wrong message. You instead want to say something like, "I noticed that you were unhappy about some of the food choices we made in the grocery store. How about we go together and donate those foods to people who don't have the same type of choices we have?” Then, go from there with the volunteer work. This will likely trigger the child's thought process and let him or her realize that they cannot always have everything they want. It hopefully will also cause them to think twice about complaining when they know there are kids out there who don't have a fraction of what they do.
Good Deeds - Similar to the volunteer work, another great method is to elect the offending child as "Favor Giver of the Day." For one day, this person has to do at least one requested good deed for each member of the household. This form of positive discipline for children is good for when the child has disrespected one or more family members. This lesson usually teaches a child that it's more fun to help others than it is to mistreat them.
Note: The author's positive parenting method has evolved into what she calls Upstream Parenting.
*I originally published a version of this via Yahoo Contributor Network
by Lyn Lomasi, Staff Writer
Every time I see someone share another fighting video online, all I can think is why? Why is it entertaining to watch people hurt each other? It’s one thing to stick up for someone who is standing up for their rights or yours. It’s quite another to get entertainment value out of people beating each other up.
Why is it Entertainment to Hurt People?
Perhaps I’m different. But my goal has always been to spread love, not hate. Being entertained by people hurting each other only teaches more and more people that it’s okay to solve their problems with violence – and even that it’s fun. How sad is it that this is acceptable by so many people?
Not only is there boxing and other sports where people get paid to beat each other up, but there are more and more people sharing street fights as well. Oftentimes, it is kids in these videos and adults enjoying watching them. At least the subjects of the boxing (and other professional sports) get paid for it and are willing participants.
The street fights sadden me the most because it’s usually people who are actually fighting and intentionally hurting each other. Be it in self defense, arguments, or other reasons, why do people feel it is okay to not only expose these peoples’ business, but to get entertainment from it? Why is this considered “cool” or fun?
When is Fighting Okay?
The only “fights” that I feel should be spread are those where people are standing up for someone’s rights. For instance, talk about the people who have made a difference in our country, such as Martin Luther King, Jr and Malala Yousafzai. Talk about everyday people who go out of their way to help others in need or to stand up and fight for someone’s rights. Talk about the people who die or get injured fighting to protect their countries.
That’s the type of fighting that is noteworthy. It’s not a compliment or an attractive trait to beat someone up for no reason or for frivolous reasons. It’s one thing to defend yourself when attacked when you have no other choice. It’s quite another to hurt someone without cause or due to frivolous reasons – or to view and share such acts as entertainment.
I’m not a perfect person by any means (I know I make mistakes – plenty of them), but I do try to perpetuate love in all situations, while also standing up and “fighting” when it’s warranted.
How I Fought For What Was Right
For instance, one day, the city bus I was riding broke down and I had one of my kids and two others (who had just run a 5K marathon) along for the ride. The children indicated they needed to use the restroom and the bus driver wasn’t going to let us (or anyone else) get off the bus. He was also extremely rude about it, after hearing the kids’ needs. The kids were full of water and Gatorade, since they had just run a race that was over 3 miles long. My mama bear instinct kicked in at that point.
I simply walked up to the front of the bus with the kids in tow and said to the driver “My kids need to pee. I’m getting off,” and we did. That’s an example of fighting for what’s right. It also led to a few others sticking up for themselves and either getting off to go seek another form of transportation or doing whatever else they needed to do.
The wait was going to be about an hour for the next bus and then the kids would have also had to wait the ride on that bus before using the restroom, had I taken the driver’s instructions. I did what I knew was the right thing to do for the kids. That’s an example of fighting that is warranted.
Am I a hero? I doubt it. Many other parents do exactly what I did on a regular basis. I’m not telling our story for recognition. I don’t care whether anyone spreads our little bus ride story or not. What I do hope is that people read this and think twice before getting entertainment out of people hurting each other.
Fight for what’s right, not for entertainment.
*Photo Credit: Lyn Lomasi
**I originally published this on Bubblews.com (no longer published there).