When Frenchman, Christophe Champenois, 37 went on trial for killing his three-year-old son by locking him in a washing machine, concerned netizens stormed social media to ask how far should parents go when disciplining children.
Contrary to ‘discipline’ which is often viewed as negative, Daniel Koh, Psychologist at Insights Mind Centre says, “It is better to address it as ‘positive coaching, positive mentoring or positive parenting.’ Such a technique show interaction and bonding between the child and parent with the common goal of improving the situation instead of showing authority.”
Says Koh, “Positive parenting focuses on the behaviour and not on the child. When the child feels that they are loved, cared for and listened to, they are more willing to accept and work together with parents to change their behaviour.”
Says Anizah Abbas-Lim, who uses positive discipline techniques on her daughter, Aimee-Sophia Puteri Lim, “As parents, we must ensure that unconditional love is our main motivation when disciplining our children. Never humiliate the child.”
What does positive discipline involves?
• Enforce positive discipline in a warm, positive, loving environment. The more positive attention and encouraging comments children are given, the more sensitive they will be to disapproval.
• When making a request, always use a polite, respectful and positive tone. Avoid sarcasm, threat, criticism, labelling, teasing and shouting.
• If your child doesn’t heed your requests, ask again more firmly and if they choose not to respond, impose a relevant consequence.
• Listen to your child’s ideas, respect their feelings and praise practical solutions. Involving your child to craft out mutually agreeable solutions will give children a sense of responsibility to make the solution work.
• Instead of merely pointing out what the child did wrong, show the child how to set things right.
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