Why I love Positive Discipline

By Sarina Behar Natkin

For those who have read my previous posts, you know I am a huge fan of Positive Discipline. I had heard of the model before having children, but didn't really dive in to deeper learning until I became a parent.

As new parenting challenges cropped up I wanted to learn how to deal with power struggles and behavior challenges in a way that aligned with my core values. Time outs and consequences seemed to be popular methods, but they didn't feel good to me and I didn't believe they worked in the long run. (Stay tuned for a post on why time outs don't work in the near future.) On the other hand, if I didn't deal with discipline the "right" way, would I raise a child without respect for others?

We are so often taught that we can't let our children get away with something or we will have a real mess on our hands. We begin to approach discipline as a test of our parental strength. Our child has a total meltdown at the park and we feel as if all eyes are on us; are we going to stand strong or cave? It's that view that gets us stuck in deciding what we are going to do
to our children vs. what we are going to do with our children.

As a mental health professional, I was even harder on myself about finding the healthiest way to deal with discipline challenges. After an introduction to Positive Discipline from the parent educator at a class I attended, I was hooked! There
is a different way and it does not involve time outs and consequences!

Positive Discipline is about working together as a family to address problems. It's about loving and encouraging through the hard times. It's a guide for parenting with confidence while taking away the pressure to be the perfect parent. I had at my hands a whole list of tools that were respectful, straightforward and easy to understand. Most importantly, tools that really worked!

After years of practicing Positive Discipline in the home, I became certified as a Positive Discipline Parent Educator. This model really practices what it preaches! We were not lectured to, but learned with our facilitator as we practiced the same tools and exercises we would pass along to families. It was one of the best professional trainings I have attended and sent me away with renewed commitment to my own family.

The best testimonial to the strength of this model is the children who are raised with it. They are emotionally aware, self-reliant, and self-confident. They know they are a valued part of their family and know what responsibilities come along with that. They are not perfect children and their parents do not expect them to be. They know that mistakes are opportunities to learn and grow. They know that life can be full of challenges and they have all the unconditional love and support they need to face those challenges with dignity.

[In four separate classes, I will be guiding parents through the core principles of Positive Discipline. Each class will be full of great strategies to build healthy families. The four together will give you a chance to really get the hang of how to use these valuable tools in a variety of situations.

Don't expect two hours of lecture. We are going to learn, practice and discuss together. My hope is for you to leave the class with greater insight into your children and more confidence as a parent. Class details are available
here.]
This class took place in 2011. See our events page for upcoming classes.

If you are outside of the Seattle area, you can find a listing of Positive Discipline classes around the country
here.

Hope to see you there!
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