When early childhood behavior problems start to occur, many revert to the traditional approach to parenting. This is more of a reactive approach. If were to chart it, it would look something like this:
Behavior happens, we have a reaction – maybe a punishment or a scolding. The early childhood behavior issue subsides. Then something else happens – maybe a little more intense. We react to it. It subsides. Again, behavior happens and we react. Again, it subsides. It is growing because every time the behavior happens and there is a reaction, the person doing the behavior learns what the reaction is going to be and so it escalates. It grows over time. What happens is, the more reactions there are that stop the early childhood behavior, the more intense the behavior will become. The subsequent reactions will also grow in intensity.
In the beginning, it may have started as scolding or time outs, and at the end, by the time they’ve hit their teenage years, (or really at any time) it can escalate into full on conflict. It can even escalate to the point of child abuse. That line between yelling, frustration and stress is easy to cross. Once you cross it, you can’t uncross it. So it can escalate into those abusive situations.
Stop Early Childhood Behavior Problems with Positive Discipline
Now, on the other side there’s positive discipline. Some people will use positive discipline to handle early childhood issues, but the problem is, they don’t see an immediate result. They don’t see a change in behavior, don’t get the same instant feedback or correction of the problem. They’re so used to the negative approaches that lower self-esteem and make people feel bad about themselves, that they can’t wrap their heads around doing things positively.
When we go the positive route, because it’s not so intense, we may not get the instant reaction. Also, if our family is used to us dealing with them in a certain way and we change things up on them all of a sudden and begin using new tools, they’re going to look at you like you’re crazy. They aren’t going to take you serious at first, so they’ll test you. Positive discipline works because you make a commitment to do it that way. What happens when you implement everything and take a proactive approach, the early childhood behavior subsides. The challenging behavior actually drops off because now you’re operating from a place where it holds your confidence and self-esteem in a high regard as well as the self-esteem and confidence of your family.
What kind of parenting approach have you taken: traditional or positive? If you’re looking to change the way you discipline your kids, Blissful Parenting can help you repair, rejuvenate, and redefine your relationships. Feel free to tweet us @BlissfulParent or visit our Facebook page for more ideas on positive parenting!