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Stacy Phillips

Elementary Counselor

School Counseling Resource

Use Positive Discipline with Research-Proven Approaches
Discipline is not the same as punishment. In fact, it’s almost the opposite! One of the most impor­tant parts of discipline is encouraging good behavior. After teaching your child to say please, you probably complimented his suc­cess: “Thank you for being polite!” It’s critical to continue this process throughout your child’s life. According to experts at Yale University, certain discipline approaches help families most. Research shows it works to:
  • Focus on changing two or three behaviors at a time. Decide what you’d like your child to accomplish first, such as doing homework at a certain time each day.
  • Explain how you want your child to behave. Instead of saying, “Be nice,” provide details. “When Jake asks for a turn with your toy, please give him one.”
  • Be a good role model. You might share with someone and then ask your child to do the same with his sibling. • Take steps toward success. Some things are too difficult to master all at once. If you want your child to read for 20 minutes each night, start with a shorter time and slowly build up to 20 minutes.
  • Give frequent, specific compli­ments. Practice good behavior often, and keep saying what you liked. “Awesome! You shared with Jake the first time he asked!”
  • Show enthusiasm with words and actions. There’s a big difference between saying “Good job” and saying “SUPER!” with a smile and a high five. Kids respond to parents’ happiness and pride! Source: “How to Use Attention and Praise Effectively,” Yale Parenting Center, escobedocounselor/extra-credit/classroom-news/howtouse attentionandpraiseeffectively.

Teach Your Child the Importance of Losing & Winning Gracefully

Competition can be a good thing. It can teach kids how to win and lose. It can encourage kids to do their best. But some kids are just too competitive. They treat every board game like it’s World War III. They cheat. They throw tantrums. They are rude to other players. Could your child be too competitive? A poor competitor:

  • Gets very angry if he is losing.
  • Has a tantrum in the middle of a game.
  • Throws things (soccer balls, cards, game pieces).
  • Cries after any loss.
  • Makes threats to other players.

If you see these signs, it’s time to take action. Start by talking with your child. Tell him that winning and losing are both part of life.Say you want to help him become a better winner and a better loser. Then talk about what makes a good winner or loser. What have other kids done that he admires? What do they do that bugs him? Help him see that he may be doing some of the same things he doesn’t like in others. Set up chances to compete at home. When your child wins, don’t fuss too much. Pick out one thing your child did well in winning the game. “You took a risk on that hand. But it paid off.” Sometimes, of course, your child will lose. Again, look for something positive to say, such as, “That was a good strategy.” Show your child by your actions how to be a good loser and winner. Source: B. Conner, Everyday Opportunities for Extraordinary

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