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Parenting Tip

January 10, 2014

Ending the Discipline Time Positively

Disciplining children day-to-day often leaves tension in the parent/child relationship. Children may feel angry, guilty, or fearful and their parents can be left with lingering frustration. One helpful solution for both parent and child is to have a debriefing after every discipline time. We call it a Positive Conclusion.

During the Positive Conclusion, talk about what went wrong, why it was wrong, and what the child might do differently next time. With younger children you might simply develop a routine, asking them questions in a gentle, non-accusing tone. With teens, a discussion is often helpful covering the same issues.

This kind of Positive Conclusion not only helps clear the air between parent and child but it also helps children think rightly about mistakes as they get older. Instead of self-condemnation, a child learns to confess a mistake, determine why it was wrong, and then plan a better response for next time.

Be sure to end the Positive Conclusion with an affirmation like “Okay, go ahead and try again.” It’s the same kind of affirmation that Jesus gave to the woman caught in adultery in John 8 when he said, “Go and sin no more.”

Regular use of a Positive Conclusion in your parenting will reduce the tension as well as teach children a better response for next time.

This parenting tip comes from the book, Home Improvement, The Parenting Book You Can Read to Your Kids, by Dr. Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller, RN, BSN. You can also read a helpful article about the Positive Conclusion on our website. Click here.

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