Title Positive & Effective Discipline with images of woman talkin to child and woman scolding child

Positive and Effective Discipline

Positive and effective discipline is an important part of raising a child.  Positive discipline is about teaching children to behave in acceptable ways. Effective discipline is more than getting children to obey.  It is about teaching and guiding children.

Historically, the word “discipline” meant to obey the rules or face punishment.  While this might work in a military setting, it is not effective in raising children.  This approach does not teach them to become self-disciplined.

The purpose of discipline is to teach children about the rules and values of our society, and to help them become self-disciplined so they are happy, responsible adults.

Parenting for Life Series. Yes, You Can. Positive discipline ideas for you and your child.

Check Your Discipline Methods

How can you tell if you are using positive and effective discipline? Parenting for Life Series suggests that you can evaluate your approach by asking some questions. Does this method of discipline-

  • teach appropriate behaviour?
  • avoid violence?
  • allow my child to continue feeling positive about himself?
  • keep our parent-child relationship strong?
  • fit my child’s stage of development, individual personality and needs

Praise and Encouragement

Sometimes, instead of discipline, parents use praise and encouragement.  AHS Healthy Parents Healthy Children has a handout explaining the differences.
Praise and Encouragement

Age Appropriate Discipline

Discipline approaches for a toddler clearly will not work for an older child. This article from Today’s Parent, An age-by-age guide to disciplining your children provides some “golden rules” with specific examples to use with:

  • toddlers,
  • pre-schoolers, school-age,
  • tweens and teens.


You can read more in these handouts.

Parenting for Life Series. Yes, You Can. Positive discipline ideas for you and your child. The Psychology Foundation of Canada

Discipline Tips. The Psychology Foundation of Canada. Every Mind Matters handout.

2 thoughts on “Positive and Effective Discipline”

  1. What a wonderful support for parents you are providing. ‘Discipline’ is a tricky word. As you know, Maureen, it can easily turn into punishment, especially if parents are at their wit’s end. Sometimes when a parent’s nervous system is activated, she or he might say or do something they regret. I send compassion to all parents. They have been doubly challenged during this topsy-turvy time.

    Lastly, thank you for your contributions, Maureen. I see that all the articles here, to day, are written by you. Your community work is appreciated.

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