Children need to learn skills to manage strong emotions, solve problems and interact with people around them. Adults teach these skills through modeling and positive discipline methods that do not involve hitting.
Here’s what you can do:
- Make your home a No Hit Zone.
- Model and teach positive ways to work through conflict with others.
- Create a safe and engaging learning environment in your home.
- Use positive child discipline that does not involve hitting.
- Encourage other homes to become No Hit Zones.
Effective discipline can be defined as an approach to teaching a child new behavioral skills through strategies that model, coach, and promote positive child development and learning.
There are a variety of factors that influence child behavior. Influences on behavior may include:
- Child temperament
- Physical health
- Influences outside of the home (i.e. media, peers, community)
- Family environment
- Parental discipline approaches and responses to challenging behavior
A helpful framework for positive discipline that promotes child learning and healthy development would include:
- An awareness on preventing problem behaviors (e.g. A choice to skip a toddler’s nap time to do grocery shopping may lead to an increased risk for challenging behaviors.)
- A focus on teaching skills and behaviors appropriate for child’s age and development (e.g. Instead of consistently telling the child what not to do, try telling the child the behaviors that you would like to see through simple instructions. A simple flip of your words can positively influence child behaviors.)
- Use a variety of safe and healthy discipline strategies to respond to challenging behaviors. The selected discipline strategy should support child learning and skill building. Some discipline strategies may include:
- Give clear rules and expectations
- Clear and calm instructions
- Set limits with choices (i.e. If & Then or When & Then statements)
- Logical consequences
- Delay privileges
- Ignore attention-seeking behaviors
- Quiet Time
- Time Out
At times, families may need additional resources to support positive child behaviors. A variety of community resources including a doctor, nurse, social worker, counselor, psychologist, therapist, teacher, or faith-based leader may be able to provide additional support for growing healthy kids and strong families.