Shortly after our first child was born, my husband and I took a series of parenting classes together. One of the most helpful series was a free class at the local middle school called Positive Discipline, based on the book by Jane Nelson. It really helps us see our kids as real people and help them not just to behave better, but to overall be better people.
Some of the main points are:
Misbehaving children are discouraged children, who have mistaken ideas on how to achieve their primary goal-to belong. Their mistaken ideas lead them to misbehavior.
Use encouragement to help children feel a sense of belonging so that the motivation for misbehaving will be eliminated.
Get rid of the crazy idea that in order to make children do better, first you have to make them feel worse. Do you feel like doing better when you feel humiliated?
Punishment may work if all you are interested in is stopping misbehavior for the moment. Sometimes we must beware of what works for the moment when the long range results are negative-resentment, rebellion, revenge, and retreat.
Teach and model mutual respect by being kind AND firm.
Take time for training. Your children may think "clean the kitchen" means put the dishes in the sink.
There is SOOOOO much more to this book, but those are some of my favorite highlights. We had the book for kids 0 to 3, but it was ruined in a flood. Now we have one child over three and one about to be three, so only the baby fits well into the 0-3 category. We got the copy of the regular positive discipline we have now when my mom found it at a library book sale for $0.75! We had told her that we were trying to find a decent priced copy, it's not like she was trying to give us a hint or anything.
This book is also made to help teachers, which is appropriate since we're planning on homeschooling our kids!
Guess what! I'm going to start a series of posts based on the chapters! There are 10 chapters, so I'll read and focus on one per week and post at the end of that week on my favorite parts and things I've noticed with my kids!
The posts for this series will be as follows:
The Positive Approach
Some Basic Concepts
The Significance of Birth Order
For Mistaken Goals of Behavior
Natural and Logical Consequences
Using and Encouragement Effectively
Putting It All Together
Love and Joy in Families and Schools