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Positive Discipline at Home: The Four Basics of Positive Parenting

With all the parenting advice out there, it can be tough to know even how to begin Positive Discipline at home.  Here we introduce you to the four basics of positive parenting with the help of Positive Discipline expert, Dodie Blomberg.

Do you remember how your parents disciplined you?

Time outs in the corner if you lost your temper and yelled.

Grounding for a week for not listening.

Maybe even a spanking?

It’s what parents in the ‘80’s did to “keep control” of their children.  We can’t fault them for that. 

READ: 5 Alternatives to Timeout that you can use immediately for discipline!

But, those methods break our connection with our kids.  

Kids get caught up in how unfair the punishment is that they miss the lesson we’re trying to teach them. 

Instead, keep these four basics of positive parenting in mind when using positive discipline at home.


1. All human beings want belonging and significance

In our podcast interview with Dodie Blomberg (which you can find embedded in this VERY post!), she shares “when we feel like we belong, and when we feel significant, our behavior tends to be useful and helpful. When we don’t feel like we belong, and we don’t feel significant. Our behavior tends to be not useful and not helpful.”

The question becomes, how do we show our kids they’re significant and they belong?

READ: The simple change you can make to connect with your tween

It’s not by buying presents or going on trips.  Instead, kids see they’re significant when we listen to them, give them choices and include them in family decisions.

2. Be kind, yet firm

Raise your hand if you’re a waffler?

No shame, I fully admit that I do it, too.

I say “NO” to something my kids ask me and then I immediately question my decision. 

“Am I being too harsh?  All they want is to spend time with me.”

But what my indecisive brain doesn’t take into account is that I just gave them two hours of my time and this request when I sat down for the first time all day, 

Dodie shared a phrase that I’m now using all the time: “Honey I love you, but the answer is NO”

READ: How to Motivate Your Child – THIS is why nothing else has worked

Try this, next time your kids ask you to do something you know you don’t have the bandwidth for.

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3. All human beings want mutual respect and dignity

Maybe you’ve heard it on a TV show or maybe from a friend, a parent lamenting about how their child doesn’t respect them. 

As parents, we want respect from our kids.  But sometimes, we forget to realize that they need that respect modeled.

The best way to do this is to show them respect and dignity. 

This happens by holding a kind, but firm no as well as not shaming them for decisions or behavior. 

READ: What to Do When Your Kid’s Behavior Makes You Feel Like a Failure

4. Encouragement is a great motivator

As Dodie Blomberg shares, “often people think carrots and sticks are great motivators. Carrots and sticks are, but people move forward with lots of resistance with carrots and sticks. Where with encouragement, the root word is courage. And it just gives people the courage to step forward or to move forward.”

The best way to judge if you’re offering either encouragement or extrinsic rewards is to think as if you were talking to an adult.

Say, you wanted your partner to cook you a delicious meal.  Would you offer them 10 bucks to do this?

Probably not.

You’d probably tell your partner how much you appreciate their delicious cooking and how good that last meal was. 

That’s encouragement. 

READ: 72 Ways to Compliment a Child (Instead of saying “good job”)

Starting Positive Discipline at Home

Positive Discipline is a mindset change.  It’s based on helping kids belong, mutual respect, kind but firm limits, and encouragement. 

For more information (and a really fun time), listen to No Guilt Mom Podcast episode 12 with Dodie Blomberg. 

Resources We Shared:

Emotions 911



Download the transcripts here

The best mom is a happy mom.  To better take care of you, download our No Guilt Mom mindset here .  These reminders will help you second guess less, and feel more confidence every day in your parenting. ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

Brie Tucker

COO/ Podcast Producer at No Guilt Mom
Brie Tucker has over 20 years of experience coaching parents with a background in early childhood and special needs. She holds a B.S. in Psychology from the University of Central Missouri and is certified in Positive Discipline as well as a Happiest Baby Educator.

She’s a divorced mom to two teenagers.

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