Positive Discipline
By Rory Donaldson

Positive discipline describes a way to reduce undesirable behavior, and increase desirable behavior, by rewarding the positive rather than punishing the negative.

Positive Discipline describes an action that is introduced after a desirable behavior so that the behavior will be repeated in the future. Positive Discipline is based on the premise that behavior that is rewarded is behavior that will be repeated.

Negative Discipline describes a way to reduce undesirable behavior, and increase desirable behavior, by punishing the negative rather than rewarding the positive.

Negative Discipline describes an action that is introduced after an undesirable behavior so that the behavior will be not be repeated in the future. Negative Discipline is based on the premise that behavior that is punished is behavior that will be reduced.

Positive Discipline is a four-step process that recognizes and rewards appropriate behavior:

1. The appropriate behavior is described: “Good job raising your hand before asking your question.”

2. Clear rationales are provided: “Raising your hand before asking a question shows respect for others. It is a good example of doing unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

3. Acknowledgment is requested: “Do you see why raising your hand is so important?”

4. The behavior is rewarded: eye contact; a smile; thumbs up; touch on the shoulder; having a success in front of the class (social recognition is the greatest reward). Rewards should always be immediate and small.

An effective reward is one that, after it is introduced, increases desired behavior. The reward must be clearly tied to a specific behavior.

There is still time to be quoted in our monthly poll by taking the survey at:

How have you used positive discipline when caring for children?

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  1. I don’t think it is a good idea to reward with cash or other material benefits. Rewarding with material rewards can result in a materialistic or calculative kid. We use a sticker chart for rewarding good behavior. Daily the children are rewarded by picking their bedtime story. Once the chart is filled they are granted a day off from the regular chores. I let them choose their favorite dinner, snack, or dessert and sometimes a fun project. But, the parents have to determine the rules, not the nanny. If the parents buy material gifts for good behavior it is their money and choice not mine to agree or disagree with.Linda Carson, Nanny, Georgia

  2. I give the children ice cream if they’re good and gold stars when they share. After they fill up the star chart for making beds, bringing dishes to the sink, setting the table, hanging their bath towels, and the like, their mom or dad takes them to buy bakugan on the weekend.Sue, New York Au Pair

  3. I don’t think giving material rewards are the best idea. Parents appreciate nannies that go the extra mile to help play educational games and read to their children. We go to the library to select a book, play academic computer games, read a book of choice, and spend time (with appropriate supervision) on the Internet at academic sites as rewards.Becky, Governess, Greenwich, Connecticut

  4. I like printing out certificates that school teachers use and then type in my own titles. For example, Greates Bed Maker, Best Helper, Quitest in Car Ride and Great Job Doing Homework!

  5. The girl I care for has ADHD (usually boys rightt?). If she can go three days without time-outs at school we give her a small toy from the dollar store. Eventually we’ll have to stop giving material gifts as rewards. But for now it’s working at helping her behavior during school. She looks forward to the rewards. For this to be successful the nanny and parents have to figure out what the child loves the most for rewards and what the child hates the most for punishments.Only rewards doesn’t work for unacceptable behaviors like hitting, kicking, biting, and shoving. Any behavior that hurst themselves, others, or belongings should be punished.Mandy T. Rhode Island

  6. I just share activities with children. I say, “Great job Sarah! What should we play?” Hugs, praise, and playing with kids by doing an activity like baking, reading a book, playing a board game are all that is needed to reward kids. They don’t need financial gifts. They want our attention and time the most.

  7. Knowing what rewards to use is my problem. I cannot purchase stuff (that’s for my boss to do). Granted being nice and thankful and praising a kid is great. But, what about concrete rewards? Stef, NJ

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