In the last post, I wrote about the difference between discipline and punishment, an important distinction for positive parenting.
Some observers watch practitioners of positive guidance and in accurately label it as passive parenting. While positive guidance is anything but passive, I don’t doubt that some people who aspire to positive parenting end up in the passive category by default. They grasp the first concept — avoiding negative, punitive measures to control child behavior — but fail to build the tools for positive guidance. To remove the negative, but omit the positive would garner a neutral result. A passive approach.
In my ebook, Parenting with Positive Guidance, I introduce ten tools for guiding behavior (you can get a sneak peek here). This is by no means an exhaustive list, but a list of common tools I use almost every day. Different tools work better with different children and in different seasons.
Sometimes I find myself repeatedly stating limits and offering choices. Other times I need to redirect to more appropriate outlets. In some of my most frustrated moments I made a breakthrough when I finally learned how to appropriately disengage, while in other situations I simply needed to diffuse the moment with some humor.
But one thing remains the same. When I am more conscious of the tools I have to choose from, and more aware of my responsibility to guide and teach, I am better able to meet each child and each behavior in a meaningful, personal, effective way.
I’m sure each of you has your own bag of tricks for positively guiding child behavior, and each of us could always stand to add one more to the toolbox. So I’m asking you to share your secrets. What is one of your go-to tools for guiding child behavior? When and how do you use it? What approaches have surprised you with their effectiveness?
You never know when your old standard might be just the tool another person’s looking for.
Top photo by Evan.