When disciplining our children, positive intent allows us to better teach life skills to our children in a calm manner. Positive intent is taking a step back and analyzing why our children lash out/misbehave the way they do. Are they crying out for attention or love? Are they needing more structure? More flexibility?
For example: Lucy hit her younger sister(Mary) when you asked Mary a question. Instead of letting your emotions intervene, take a step back and ask yourself why Lucy hit Mary.
Step 1: Say, “Lucy you wanted my attention.”
Step 2: No judging words. Describe Lucy’s action. “So you hit your sister.”
Step 3: Tell Lucy she is a loved and worthy person who made a mistake. Then say something like, “You didn’t know how to get my attention so you hit your sister.” If Lucy corrects you with why she hit her sister, repeat her correction. Lucy responded, “No I hit her because you were talking to her and not me.” Repeat this statement back to Lucy.
Step 4: Set the limit and teach the acceptable behavior. “Lucy you may not hit your sister. It hurts her and is not a kind thing to do. If you want my attention, you need to come to me not to your sister.”
Step 5: Ask Lucy to practice how she can get your attention without hurting others. When she is finished, praise her! Tell her how proud you are that she can make the right choice.
I know this might seem like a lot to do for one situation, but it will transform hurtful situations into teachable moments!