Pillar #2 (Cont) Make Expectations Clear, Be Positive!

Tip 106 – Set up for success by being positive.

Fair, Firm, and Positive

These are the three basic parameters for effective discipline. They work together to decrease misbehavior. In addition, they help your child learn to take charge of him or herself and in the end become his or her own best friend.

This tip will explain positive.

Scenario: You are going to visit a friend and want your child to behave well during the visit. Be prepared! Bring along your child’s own personalized “goody bag.” Maybe he or she loves a particular puzzle or has a favorite book. Possibly you have some other activity that you think your child will enjoy. Take some time to analyze your situation so that you will have with you what you need for your child to be happily engaged for the duration of your visit.

Start by explaining to your child your expectations. If he or she uses any or all of these items appropriately, he or she will enjoy some special activity of choice after the visit like going out for dinner, having a special story, playing a favorite game, or doing something else that is meaningful to you both. If he or she does not do well with the specially selected items, you will skip the chosen reward.

You are half-way there! You have put your child in the position of making a choice—follow the directions and reap the rewards or ignore the directions and face some difficulties. Now is the easy part. Follow up.

That’s it! Congratulations! You were just fair! 

Now time to add on firm.

Say what you mean and mean what you say. Your child knows the difference. That’s it!

Once you and your child get used to this pattern, you will find that most outings that might have been difficult in the past have just become easier.

The final touch!

Communicate to your child that whatever you are doing or asking of him or her is because you love him or her.

Now I refer you now to the “15 Pillars of Parenting” and Pillar #8. Read more about these pillars every week on Monday Morning Coffee.

Pillar #8

“When you find your child in a problematic situation that is causing difficulty, it is time to work on the problem. With your child, find solutions. Be the best friend you can be to your child and do all you can to help. As you play this role, you will be building your relationship with your child. By being positive, warm, and supportive, you will be showing that you believe in your child. The more you believe in your child, the more he or she will believe in him or herself.”

“With open-ended warmth, you express unconditional love to your child. One thing you cannot give your child too much of is love. Your child is a special kind of container for contributions of love. It is a container that cannot ever run out of room.”

“Filling your child with love is like providing him or her with an ongoing supply of fuel for success.”

~ Excerpted from Constructive Parenting by Sally Goldberg, Ph.D. Copyright 2002, p.17

~ Dr. Sally


July! The Month of the Parents

Join us all month long for parenting skills.

Monday Morning Coffee – “15 Pillars of Parenting”

Tuesday Afternoon Tea – Q & A

Wednesday Evening Wine – Parent as a Pro


Parenting skills are just that important. They make everything else that you do go much more smoothly.

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