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3 Steps to Understanding Positive Discipline

Written By:

Maryam Salassi

Jun 27, 2019

Hi friends! I’m so excited to share this series my friend Kim will be sharing on the blog! See her first post here and her second post here. She’s a fabulous makeup artist and a preschool teacher turned parenting coach who really believes that tiny humans have voices that need to be heard. I highly recommend getting to know her if you don’t already! She and I are putting together a super fun Mini Session event this fall, get all the details here!

understanding positive discipline


You’re in a handful of Facebook groups, follow the trendiest parenting Instagram accounts,
attempt to read a blog every now and then, and refer to Google daily.
But how in the world are you supposed to know what to do as a parent?! There is so much conflicting
information out there and it can be overwhelming…
Don’t worry, I got you boo!

Step One: Analyze your family values.

Before we even get into what positive discipline is, it’s super important that you and your
spouse are on the same page when it comes to your family values and who you expect your littles to grow into.
It’s the whole concept of working backwards to your end goal. If the two of you agree on who you want your littles to be when they are bigger, it’ll more easily
guide the way in which you discipline now (or don’t).

For instance, if you strongly value your child to be an independent and creative adult, your
discipline will reflect this by giving them more space to figure things out for themselves.
However, if you really value that your child be a rule follower, then the boundaries you set will
have much less wiggle room for negotiation.

This is a crucial first step when I work with new families so I can best support them in their space.
While my experience and education show me that certain strategies may work better, I strongly
believe that communication and consistency are the two most important factors in raising
children. Without parenting partners being in agreement of the values, the rest cannot happen

Step Two: Know your kid.

Ok, this seems obvious right?! But you cannot discipline or encourage anyone without knowing
what makes them tick.
What inspires and interests your child? Do they need to spend a significant amount of time
outdoors or do they prefer to tinker?
What environment do they thrive in? Do they prefer small groups or large?
How much physical activity do they need to thrive? Do they need to be moving to learn?

If you can set up an environment where your child can thrive in the way they function and learn
best, you won’t have to discipline them quite as much. Knowing the answers to these questions will also help you choose other caregivers and

This is often the most challenging aspect to parenting. Before your child is even born, you
dream about your life with a little, who they will be, and how you will parent. But every kid
comes with their own set of rules that we have to figure out. The good thing is that you don’t have to do it alone!
Utilize your resources and community! Talk to your child’s teacher(s) or hire a parenting coach like me
to help you navigate your specific situation.

Step Three: It’s all about mindset.

At the root of positive discipline is the belief that there are no bad kids, just bad behavior or
choices. Think about that. No, really, think about it for a moment.

There are no bad kids.

Does this change your perspective or how you may react?
Here’s an example: it’s quiet. Too quiet. You find your four-year-old sitting in the bathroom beneath a
pile of toilet paper and the toilet is full of tampons. They know better than to do this, sure. Your
initial urge is to yell, get upset and lecture on why they are wrong or bad.
Instead, put on your positive discipline hat.

It looks like this:

  1. You stop and breathe for a moment. Analyze what happened and the intentions of your
    little. There are no bad kids. They didn’t do this to piss you off and waste a ton of
    perfectly good material.
  2. Acknowledge your little one very calmly with as little judgement as possible, “I see that
    you have been busy.”
  3. Get down on their level and ask a question like, “what have you been doing in here?” If
    this is the first time you are using this technique, your child may be hesitant and not
    trusting of your behavior. It takes time and consistency for them to trust your reaction.
  4. Have a conversation with your child about what they were doing and why it was not a
    good choice. Make your sentences short, speak quietly, and be on their eye level. Make
    sure to include in the conversation that you love them, and it is your job to help them
    make good choices. You can even share that you make bad choices sometimes too.
  5. Come up with alternative ideas together for next time they have a similar urge as well as
    a consequence for when it happens again. By having them participate in making these
    choices, it will hold more bearing when you follow through.

The hardest part will be to keep your composure, but it is super important. Your child wants to know they can trust you and that you love them no matter what. Positive discipline is not easy. It is a lot of work up front. But I promise you that your time and efforts will pay off and result in kids who intuitively make better choices.

But if you’re still feeling overwhelmed and lost on implementing positive discipline…

That is where I step in.
Sometimes it takes an unbiased look at your life from an outsider to figure out the small tweaks
that can make a big impact. Not only will I help you master positive discipline, but together we will
take a look at why you’re still feeling overwhelmed and what we can do about it.
Maybe it’s mindset.
Maybe it’s a lack of organization.
Regardless, by working with me you will take ownership of your life to create the feelings you
desire and deserve!

Find me here:

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