Let's face it. Sometimes our kids can really push our buttons, and suddenly we become that parent. You know, the one who yells, a lot. Is it really a necessary form of discipline or can parents actually vow to never yell again and stick to it (for the most part)? Some parenting experts say, yes. They believe positive discipline is the answer, allowing parents to be heard and children to feel respected.

What Is Positive Discipline?

According to the Positive Discipline Association, "it teaches important social and life skills in a manner that is deeply respectful and encouraging for both children and adults." It follows the belief that children who feel connected to their families and communities are less likely to misbehave. In order to feel connected, children must learn essential social and life skills, and take part in planning the household rules.

In order to ensure proper positive discipline, the Positive Discipline site lists criteria for parents to follow, including that discipline helps children connect with adults, discipline is mutually respectful as well as encouraging, it is effective in the long-term, it teaches important life skills without being permissive or punitive, and discipline allows children to discover their capabilities. So where do you start?

Tips for Effective Positive Discipline

1. Encourage Rather Than Praise

When parents encourage their child, they are celebrating her efforts and hard work, rather than her successes. This allows a child to build strong self-esteem and empowerment as she is able to learn what she is capable of with hard work.

2. Recognize the Reasons Behind Your Child's Behavior

Rather than just correcting your child's misbehavior, acknowledge the reason for it to your child. For example, "I know you want that ball, but Sally is using it right now." This lets the child know that she is being heard and helps her to feel important and respected.

3. Allow Your Child to Be a Part of the Discussion

When you decide on the family rules, letting your child take part in the discussion will make her feel respected. The parents have the final say, of course, but your child will be more willing to follow the rules if she understands and accepts them.

4. Find a Solution

Instead of always punishing your child, try to find a solution to the problem that is causing the misbehavior. This will help for when a similar situation arises in the future. Your child will be able to look back and remember how to fix the problem on her own with respect and kindness for other children.

5. Be Consistent

When you flip-flop on your rules and discipline, your child will end up confused. If you stick to the same rules and the same consequences, your child will know what to expect. Eventually, she will connect the dots between her actions and your reactions.

6. Be Proactive

This one isn't always easy, but it is important to avoiding meltdowns (both your child's and yours). If it's nap time, don't take your child shopping. It will end in disaster when your child begins throwing a fit in the middle of the cereal aisle. Know your child, understand your child, and plan accordingly.

It is possible to avoid the yelling and frustration that often arise when dealing with children. But no matter how old your child is, it's never too late to try positive discipline and get on track to creating a calmer home. You can find more examples and resources for effective positive discipline online.