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"I try to use positive parenting, but there always comes a point where I'm stuck and threaten a timeout. Without punishment, how do I enforce my limits?  I can remind him until I'm blue in the face about the things he's supposed to do, but I can't actually MAKE him. What do I do to make my child behave, if I can't use force?" – Lisabet  READ POST

Thursday, April 17, 2014 | Permalink

"I had just read Dr. Laura’s blog about staying calm and acknowledging his desires. When the screaming and stomping began, I stopped what I was doing and sat down next to my three year old. I made eye contact, listened to his complaint and did not let the screaming anger me; I then calmly explained that I hear him. I know cheesy poofs are so tasty and I love them too but he will have to wait half an hour until dinnertime. He blubbered briefly, collapsed into my arms for a minute and then went to play with his toys. My husband congratulated me on keeping my cool.  The best part? He was perfectly pleasant the rest of the evening. Wow!" – Aimee

When parents begin using gentle guidance,  they're often amazed by how well empathy "works" to calm their child.  For most people, just having our views and feelings acknowledged makes us feel better, so we're more cooperative.  So once parents get past their fear of "agreeing" with their child's "negative emotions" they quickly learn to empathize when their child is having a hard time:   READ POST

Wednesday, April 16, 2014 | Permalink

"Dr. Laura.....I probably say 'Good Job!" ten times a day....if praise isn't a good idea, what am I supposed to say to encourage good behavior?!" - Ariana

"What kids do need is unconditional support, love with no strings attached. That’s not just different from praise – it’s the opposite of praise. "Good job!" is conditional. It means we’re offering attention and acknowledgment and approval for jumping through our hoops, for doing things that please us." -- Alfie Kohn

In my last post, I wrote that praise as we usually give it isn't good for kids. So, like Ariana, you may be wondering how else you can give your child positive feedback.  After all, you've heard it takes at least 7 positive interactions for every negative interaction to maintain a good relationship. While hugs and smiles go a long way, you're in constant verbal interaction with your child, and your most common phrase may well be "Good job!"  Besides, there are things you'd like him to learn about how to be in the world. How else can you guide him?  READ POST

Friday, April 11, 2014 | Permalink

"An impressive body of scientific research has shown that the more we reward people for doing something, the more they tend to lose interest in whatever they had to do to get the reward. Now the point isn’t to draw, to read, to think, to create – the point is to get the goody, whether it’s an ice cream, a sticker, or a 'Good job!'"-- Alfie Kohn

If you think you should always praise your child, you may be surprised to hear that research shows that praise--at least as we usually give it to children in this culture-- often backfires. To be clear, I'm not saying to withhold your love, ever. I'm suggesting that we all become a bit more thoughtful about how we give children feedback. Here's why.  READ POST

Wednesday, April 09, 2014 | Permalink

"Isn't there a time and a place for a parent to just plain 'be in charge'?  So often, and especially now, with this new approach, she pretty much does whatever she wants...I don't want my child to be an uncontrollable brat." - Amber

Often, parents get confused about peaceful parenting. They think that if they stop punishing, their child will do whatever she wants. But that assumes there are only two choices -- being permissive or punitive. What about holding to your expectations while at the same time offering your child support and understanding?

Let's say you tell your child that it's time for bed, and she ignores you or says NO! What are your choices?  READ POST

Friday, April 04, 2014 | Permalink

"I'm a teacher of 4-5 year olds. I made the decision that I wouldn't do time-outs with kids anymore and now I'd never go back. I always knew the teacher sets the tone for the classroom, but the results of my no time-out experiment blew me away. I was more respectful with the kids and their needs as a classroom management tool and then as their needs were acknowledged, the kids became more respectful to each other. I was forced to address the real problems behind behaviors and kids started to try to solve problems themselves in real ways too, not just to get the result they wanted. Basically, I showed I cared more about them as people and they started to feel respected and were more respectful to each other. If I ever get the opportunity to do a PhD in education, it will be on this topic in some way. That's how amazing my results have been." - Erin

I'm often asked whether peaceful parenting ideas can work in a classroom. As Erin so eloquently testifies, the answer is YES!  Of course, it isn't easy. It takes regulating ourselves. It takes patience. Sometimes you really can't help a child with her emotions because you have 20 more who need you. And as every teacher knows, what happens at home will always affect the child's behavior at school. 

But all humans respond to respect. And even very young children love to contribute to the group and to find solutions to problems.

I've been told by teachers I respect that we can be guided by the same ideas that guide us in parenting peacefully. For instance, any classroom of children would benefit if we, the adults in the room, could remember that:  READ POST

Wednesday, April 02, 2014 | Permalink

"I can hear those readers unfamiliar with positive discipline saying: “How can you reward bad behavior? You’ve got to be kidding!” I understand your reaction because I had the same one. I changed my mind when I tried it and saw that it consistently decreases unacceptable behavior and helps prevent the child from repeating the same problems. My experience is that kids learn more about self-control using the Comfort Corner than they would after 100 Time Outs." - Peter Haiman, Ph.D.

Do you use Time-Outs? They’re certainly better than spanking to show your child you’re serious about whatever limit you’re setting. But time-outs aren’t the best way to help kids want to cooperate, or even to help them calm down. Why?  READ POST

Friday, March 28, 2014 | Permalink