Positive Discipline Techniques

The effective ways of disciplining with love

There're many positive discipline techniques that work successfully in disciplining kids without punishing or spanking them.

Positive discipline techniques will help kids to learn self-control and to be respectful of others.

The kid is throwing tantrum in the supermarket in order to get his favorite toy. You need to be tactful to handle this.

First, you are being watched by many eyes. Second, you want your kid to know it's not right to cry his way out to get things. Third, you really don't want to get the toy.

What should you do?

1. Offer Choices or Redirection

Instead of yelling at the kids to stop doing what they are doing, offer the kids an alternative way to do what they want to do.

By distracting the kids and redirecting them from a difficult situation to a proper one, we allow the kids some free space to be themselves.

When the kid is playing with dangerous household items or something he should not be playing, we should be extra careful so as not to startle him.

What we can do is to take him away and offer him with more appropriate items or toys.


When 2 kids are fighting over toys, take the more aggressive kid away and offer him with another toy.

Spend some time with him until he's calm. He may scream his lung out initially but as you play with him, he may find the toy you offered is much more interesting.

Go back to the less aggressive kid and also play with him a little while. Let the 2 play together again when both are in good mood later.

By redirecting, your kid may not feel being rejected as he's offered with something else. Sooner or later, he'll begin to understand that there are certain things off limits.

This technique is more appropriate to discipline a 2 to 3-year-old. By the time the kids are 3 or 4, they can often come up with alternatives of their own. We can then suggest the alternatives instead of redirecting them.

2. Introduce Time-Out

Time-out is the form of discipline where a misbehave kid is sent at a corner or in a room...all by himself, to reflect on his behavior and to learn that his behavior is not acceptable.


When a misbehave kid seems a little beyond control, giving him time-out will allow him to cool off and think over his bad behavior.

As for parents, positive time-out allows them to get out of the angry and frustration situation, to calm down and to act more rationally.

Are time-outs effective? Time-outs are more effective for young kids ages between 3 to 4.

A kid too young will not understand why he's being make to sit still in a chair, and an older kid will know that time-out is not for long and they can spend the time in the room doing something else rather than to 'repent' what they have done.

In some Asian societies, time-out can be very harsh. A kid will be made to kneel, or sit on a high chair, or being locked up for a relatively long time.

I personally think that this form of discipline is not encouraged and will cause a reverse effect on the kid if we abuse it.

Fortunately, parents are now more educated and this kind of long time-out method is seldom practiced anymore. Positive Time-Out is indeed effective to avoid power struggles at home if practice correctly.

3. Turn A 'No' Into A 'Yes'

Be positive in disciplining our kids...that's also what positive discipline means. Kids like positive comments rather than negative ones. Instead of shouting a big and loud 'NO' to everything not quite right, why not give a better suggestion by saying "Yes, you can after..."?

This discipline technique worked very well for my younger kid Jeriel when he was a preschooler. I would say Yes to his request with some conditions. He would then nod his head and repeat the conditions.

For instance, he asked for vitamin C chewable tablet before having his breakfast. I said, "I'll give you after you have your milk". He would then repeat, "ok, I want 2 after drinking my milk, ok or not, mommy?" He was such a cheeky boy!

Is this bribing? Well...I've no answer.

As long as we both get what we want...and no fighting, no screaming, no crying, no heart-aching. And we can teach our kids to always think and act positively, and that nothing come by without putting our effort to it.

4. Encourage Little Helpers

If you are annoyed because your kids jump around while you are vacuuming the carpet, chase and run on the wet floor while you are mopping, or throw the toys all over while you are about to setup the dining table, get them busy by helping you out.

It's no point in telling them to stop as it often ends up in war. And my experience is that, little kids like to help around the house.

What I would do is to give them some tools (real but not dangerous tools) such as a small bucket filled with a little of water, a piece of cloth, and instruct them to wipe the surface of the cabinet, or a small corner of the house.

Apart from having fun, they also get a sense of achievement and involvement in helping with the house chores.

And I could also finish my work much faster without having to constantly talk sharply to them.

Mama and sons can then sit down and admire the hard work we have all put in to clean the house.

Oh, what a joy!

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