2.2 Proactive Parenting: Positive Discipline and Behavior-Management Strategies

Discipline means teaching responsible behavior. Children must learn appropriate, prosocial behavior in order to live and interact successfully with others. Of course, this is a key responsibility of parenting.

Basic Guidelines

The following are basic guidelines for positive discipline and effective behavior management for the home.

  • Provide structure, routine, and predictability.
  • Set limits and let your child know you mean business.
  • Establish a few specific, important rules and expectations that are clearly understood by all members of the household.
  • Your responses to your child's behaviors and misbehaviors should be predictable, not random.
  • Establish clear-cut consequences in advance with your child that are logical, reasonable, and fair. Enforce them with consistency.
  • Use contingencies in establishing boundaries. This basically involves the age-old “Grandma's rule”—“First you eat your vegetables, then you get dessert.” Examples:
    • “As soon as you…, you may ….”
    • “Once you have…, you will then be able to ….”
    • “You have done your homework. Now you get to go play.”
  • Children with ADHD receive far more than average negative attention from parents and teachers because misbehavior captures our attention. Notice and pay attention to your child when he or she is behaving appropriately.
  • Make it a goal to catch your child being good at least four times more frequently than when you need to respond to misbehavior. ...

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