POSITIVE Parenting is based on encouragement and reward, although of course there is a place for discipline. The most effective discipline is given without pain or demeaning words.

To smack or demean your children for their behaviour is punitive and will build up resentment. The most effective ways to issue discipline are:

• Use tone of voice

• Switch off attention

• Time out

• Withdraw privileges

I always marvelled at my daughter’s year one teacher who, when the noise level got too high in the classroom, just had to utter ‘erm’. One word brought the level of noise back down.

It wasn’t the word but the tone that was effective. The children in the class knew that Mrs Davis was using her tone of disapproval.

Switching off your attention is an effective way to illustrate behaviour is unacceptable. For example, your child is showing off in front of their friends and gets carried away with themselves and calls you an idiot. Forget the lectures about respect, simply state: "It upsets me when you talk to me like that" and walk away, withdrawing your attention for a short period.

Time out gives both you and your child the space to take five, breathe, and put things into perspective. Find a quiet place for your child to sit, explain why they are there, give a couple of minutes for reflection, then move on to doing something positive together.

When withdrawing privileges don’t issue a threat that you are unable to see through. Your child could miss a favourite programme, lose their phone for an afternoon, or go to bed earlier.

See: www.parentandbabycoach.co.uk

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