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What is Discipline?
Discipline is teaching your child. Positive discipline is: 
  • Not punishment
  • Focused on solving problems
  • Respectful to your child and you
  • Based on your child’s stage of development
The Convention on the Rights of the Child (United Nations) recognizes that parents have the primary role in bringing up children. You are your child’s most important teacher, role model, and guide. Children have the right to healthy development, protection from violence, and participation in their learning.
The Canadian Paediatric Society strongly discourages the use of physical punishment on children, including spanking. There is an abundance of evidence that shows that punishment has negative effects on a child’s behavior and long-term wellbeing.
How do I discipline my child in a positive way?
  • Provide warmth and structure
  • Offer praise and affection regularly.
  • Consider what your child is thinking and how they are feeling
  • Talk to your child so they know what the rules and limits are
  • Plan transitions from one activity to the next
  • Offer limited and realistic choices you can live with.
  • Know what behaviours to ignore.
  • Accept that they will mistakes.
  • Be a role model. 
Let your child know what you expect. Remind them regularly about rules and limits. A good limit:
  • Is appropriate to your child’s age and stage of development.
  • Helps your child learn self-control.
  • Protects your child and others.
  • Is explained using simple language.
  • Is used consistently, respectfully, and kindly.
How can I deal with challenging behaviours?
Recognize that children are learning how to behave in acceptable ways. Their challenging behaviours are often a sign of their developmental level, rather than spite.
The best way to deal with challenging behaviours is to prevent them. But there will be times when your child acts in a way that is not okay with you. 
How you discipline and teach your child will depend on your child’s age, stage of development, temperament, and many other factors. Here are some tips:
Redirect to another activity
  • Redirection—switching from one activity to another—works well with toddlers and sometimes older children.
  • When you redirect your child, be sure to explain with words that teach them what you don’t want them to do.
Use logical consequences
  • Apply clear consequences for your child’s action that relate to the behaviour. For example, if your preschooler throws food on the floor, make sure they help you clean up the mess. When the mess is cleaned up, the consequence is over.
  • When there isn’t a clear consequence, you can take away a privilege. For young children this must happen right away. For example, a four year old child is excited to go swimming, but the child in front of them is not moving fast enough, so they push that child into the pool. The parent takes the child away from the pool, explains that they must wait their turn and that pushing people is not acceptable and is hurtful. The next day, they go back to the pool and the parent reminds them of the expectations.
Encourage problem-solving
  • Solving problems helps your child learn about the consequences of her actions. Allow your child to help find a solution to misbehaviour and she will be more likely to make it happen.
Is your child, biting, hitting, having tantrums or other challenging behaviours?
Click here for suggestions on what to do


Updated Nov 13, 2018