Our goals are to raise healthy, happy children who love Jesus. We want them to have a beautiful childhood and, most importantly, never doubt that they are loved. The fact that we want them to know, without a doubt, that they are loved is so essential to us as parents because, after all, this is what Jesus does for us.
Since we are attachment parents, spanking is not an option for us at all. While I respect the decisions of other parents who seek the best for their own children, spanking goes against everything that we believe as Christians as well as attachment parents. Because we refuse to use this form of discipline (or rather punishment) for our kids, we've had to become more creative and involved with finding other methods.
One thing that we have been working on is how we communicate with our children. We make a point to speak to them at their eye level in ways they can understand. We also want them to repeat back anything that we ask them to do so that we are sure that they heard us and understand what is requested of them. Talking to them in a polite, respectful way is important if they are to feel truly loved.
We also use natural consequences for their negative actions instead of vague punishment. For example, if Angel has been warned not to throw his monster trucks and continues to do so, a natural consequence is to have the monster trucks go away. This teaches him that no one will play with you if you're mean to them. Another example would be if Jazmyn has been told not to run out to the street and she does anyway, she will lose the privilege of playing outside. Natural consequences are consequences that are directly related to the negative action and they make sense. Telling a child not to hit their sibling and then smacking them if they do so would not be a natural consequence and would not make sense.
Something that's been working beautifully with our preschooler, Angel, is his reward board and his tickets. He earns stars on his board when we're home or tickets when we're out for doing what he's asked and behaving himself during the day. When they add up, he gets rewarded for his good behavior. Since we implemented the reward board, we've seen an improvement in his attitude and behavior. One of the reasons why I think it works so well for him is because it gives him a tangible way for him to see that good behavior has good results. Another reason why it's effective is because it focuses on the positive. I don't think parents realize how many "Atta boy's" it takes to make up for just one negative reaction.
We try to make a point to focus on what our kids are doing right instead of waiting for them to mess up and punish them. We want our kids to know that they are loved and accepted even if they make wrong choices. Their wrong choices are never encouraged and they are never ignored but the focus is on them making healthy, positive choices.
Here are some articles and resources that helped us and we totally recommend them!