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Positive discipline in everyday parenting plus a free book



A new effective approach to discipline

A new effective approach to discipline


First things first: corporal punishment – hitting kids or spanking them, as a means of discipline – is now almost universally regarded as counter-productive at best, and severely damaging at worst. And yet, as Dr. Joan Durrant explains in Fatherly.com, parents need effective ways to deal with children who misbehave, test limits, or simply create chaotic situations. To help, she has developed Positive Discipline in Everyday Parenting (PDEP), “a framework for positive parenting that trades punishments and rewards for emotional regulation on the part of both parent and child.”

“Positive parenting” focuses as much on parents – or any caregiver, including teachers – as it does on kids. Her system encourages us to look inward and assess our own feelings before reacting. According to Durrant, this inspires kids to do the same. She feels self-examination and contemplation are contagious.

READ MORE: The art of setting consequences

We, as parents can learn to help our kids articulate their feelings, identify what’s upsetting them. Then you can work together with your child to fix the situation. It teaches kids empathy, and helps parents see through the eyes of the child, rather than succumbing to the knee-jerk response of deciding, and then saying, the kid is “bad.” It acknowledges the dignity of both you, the parent and your child.

Dr. Durrant says, “The framework is all about being conscious of what you’re really trying to aim for in the long term. Right now, it might be driving you crazy that your child won’t put his shoes on. But if we respond with punishment in that moment, it leads us down a very different pathway than where we want to actually end up. We want to end up with children who are skilled, competent, confident, empathetic, kind, optimistic, good problem solvers, and non-violent. When we shout and hit and threaten and coerce, we’re going down an entirely different road.”

Dr. Durrant’s Positive Discipline in Everyday Parenting book is available online for free. Her nine-week positive parenting course, developed in collaboration with Save the Children Sweden, teaches caregivers in over 30 countries how to implement these skills in everyday life.



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