In recent years there has been a change in parent education, who work for an increasingly conscious education and that it takes into account the general well-being of young people. This has led to more and more families becoming interested in finding a different way to educate their children, leaving aside the more authoritarian traditional punitive methods.
But we are also on this transition path parents lost, disoriented and overprotected trying to avoid authoritarianism because they lack the tools to find common ground between the two educational styles. And these fathers, mothers, and also educators, ask themselves, is education possible without rewards or punishments, without my son ending up being a tyrant?
Fortunately, it is possible, thanks to the methodology of mutual respect, a positive discipline.
What is positive discipline?
Parents and educators. We have in our hands the responsibility to improve the world, promote education based on respect for others, An education based on love, understanding and using error as a learning opportunity … and not in anger, not in blackmail, not in vertical relationships that only generate discomfort and power struggles between parents and children. This claim of a humanistic character is the basis of positive discipline.
This discipline finds its origins in the individualistic psychology of Alfred Adler. Adler has previously explained that all people, in all situations, have the right to be treated with the same dignity and respect. And this is why he understood that the person, as a social being who is, he must forge a sense of community through some key aspects, namely: belonging and meaning. That is to say that the human being has the need to belong and to be part of the different systems that compose him (family, groups, community …) and to feel that he is important in this system, who with what he does contributes and is useful.
Likewise, Adler was able to verify through his work that children who lacked affection and love developed behavioral problems; just like children who grow up without limits, they can also have many difficulties developing their skills in the long term.
When the child feels that these aspects of belonging and meaning are not guaranteed, what we mean by “bad behavior” appears. Dreikurs, a disciple of Adler, went further and said that a child who misbehaves is just a discouraged child, And coined the term we know as “democratic education”.
Understanding democratic education
This democratic education is based on application of the fundamental principle of both kindness and firmness. Kindness as respect for the child, firmness as respect for myself as an adult and for the situation. With the two things in balance, we can lead a respectful education and teach children the most important thing, life skills.
In this way, we have created a respectful environment in which we can teach, and in which children can learn, released from negative feelings such as shame, guilt, pain or humiliation, and thus feel, through connection, that belonging, meaning and contribution are possible. In this way, we help the child to explore for himself the possible consequences of his actions, allowing him to create capable boys and girls.
The objectives of positive discipline
Positive discipline focuses on the long term, Understand that the child’s behavior, what we observe (cry, have a reprimand, …) is only the tip of the iceberg, but that underneath, there are feelings, needs and deeper beliefs that develop in children from the decisions they make.
If we let go of the urgency to immediately correct the misconductWe can continue to validate the child’s feelings and make connections before correcting, trying to understand the children’s interpretation of themselves and the world, and what they feel, think and decide to do. every moment to survive and flourish in the world. One more step to get closer and sympathize with them!
Positive discipline is therefore based on youAn education that does not use rewards, but motivates and encourages. An education that does not punish, but focuses on solutions. An education in which limits are as necessary to guide children as love and respect. Because, as Jane Nelsen said, the highest number in the dissemination of this methodology, whose idea was absurd that for a child to behave well, he had to first feel bad?
And that’s how we make a child feel when we use punishment, Which we can summarize in 4 R: resentment, desire for revenge, rebellion and withdrawal (feelings of inferiority and low self-esteem).
In short, an education that modeling skills, which teaches the courage to be imperfect support through confidence, which takes into account the needs of children and respects the nature of children, which encourages the child to gradually acquire self-regulatory skills and to become a competent, capable and motivated adult.