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Recommended reading Six principles of effective discipline Multiple

In 2004 the Children’s Issues Centre, University of Otago and the Office of the Children’s Commissioner published a research report called The Discipline and Guidance of Children revealing six key principles for effective discipline.

Summarized in the SKIP poster ‘Six Things Children Need to Grow Up to Be Happy Capable Adults’, they provide a foundation for helping parents manage kids’ difficult behaviour without having to hit or yell.

Although based on relationships between parents and children they’re just as effective for building positive relationships with anyone, anywhere - home, EC centres, classrooms or workplaces.

Te aroha me te mahana - love and warmth

Right from birth love and warmth builds trust and positive self-esteem.  Respectful relationships are at the core of effective discipline and positive parenting.

Te kōrero me te whakarongo - talking and listening

Good things come when we talk/sign with kids, watch/listen to them and give them clear messages

Te ārahi me te māramatanga - guidance and understanding

When kids understand why we want something done they’re more likely to do it.  Explaining works better than orders or threats

Te tūāpapa mō te tika me te hē - limits and boundaries

Clear and simple rules that children understand work best.  Rules keep things safe and fair for EVERYONE

Te mahi pono - ngā hua me ngā hapa - consistency and consequences

Children feel safe when the rules don’t change.  Consequences for misbehaviour should be:

Related-  directly to what has happened

Reasonable - for their developmental age and understanding

Respectful - firm + fair - not humiliating

Te hanga ao tōtika, ao haumaru - structured and secure world

Kids feel happy and relaxed when they know what’s happening.

PLAN ahead for possible challenges e.g. take snacks with you to the supermarket

MODEL behaviour we want kids to copy - don’t ‘throw an adult tantrum’ when things get frustrating for you.