What is Positive Discipline?

February 17, 2018



Wikipedia defines Positive Discipline (or PD) as a discipline model used by schools, and in parenting, that focuses on the positive points of behaviour, based on the idea that there are no bad children, just good and bad behaviors. You can teach and reinforce the good behaviors while weaning the bad behaviors without hurting the child verbally or physically. People engaging in positive discipline are not ignoring problems. Rather, they are actively involved in helping their child learn how to handle situations more appropriately while remaining calm, friendly and respectful to the children themselves. Positive discipline includes a number of different techniques that, used in combination, can lead to a more effective way for parents to manage their kids behaviour, or for teachers to manage groups of students. Some of these are listed below. Positive Behavior Support (PBS) is a structured, open-ended model that many parents and schools follow. It promotes positive decision making, teaching expectations to children early, and encouraging positive behaviors.[1]Positive discipline contrasts with negative discipline. Negative discipline may involve angry, destructive, or violent responses to inappropriate behavior. In the terms used by psychology research, positive discipline uses the full range of reinforcement and punishment options:

  • Positive reinforcement, such as complimenting a good effort;

  • Negative reinforcement, such as ignoring requests made in a whining tone of voice;

  • Positive punishment, such as requiring a child to clean up a mess he made; and

  • Negative punishment, such as removing a privilege in response to poor behavior.

However, unlike negative discipline, it does all of these things in a kind, encouraging, and firm manner. The focus of positive discipline is to establish reasonable limits and guide children to take responsibility to stay within these limits, or learn how to remedy the situation when they don't.

More information on Positive Discipline can be sourced  here. Another good resource site for PD can be found at https://www.positivediscipline.com.

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