“Parents don’t want to shout or hit their kids. We do it because we’re stressed and don’t see another way,” says Professor Cluver.
The evidence is clear: shouting and hitting simply do not work and can do more harm than good in the long run. Repeated shouting and hitting can even adversely impact a child’s entire life. The continued “toxic stress” it creates can lead to a host of negative outcomes like higher chances of school dropout, depression, drug use, suicide and heart disease.
“It’s like saying: here’s this medicine, it’s not going to help you and it’s going to make you sick,” says Professor Cluver. “When we know something doesn’t work, that’s a pretty good reason to look for a different approach.”
Rather than punishment and what not to do, the positive discipline approach puts an emphasis on developing a healthy relationship with your child and setting expectations around behaviour. The good news for every parent is it works and here’s how you can start putting it into practice:
- Plan 1-on-1 time
- Praise the positives
- Set clear expectations
- Distract creatively
- Use calm consequences