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Positive VS Negative Discipline

Updated on March 19, 2018
Ashley Marie Rile profile image

Ashley graduated from NVTHS in 2016. Upon graduation, Ashley now works at a High-End Salon.


Parenting can be a handful, especially if you haven't had the prior experience in life. There are many different areas in parenting that parents struggle with, and one of the area's that parent's (new, or experienced) struggle with the most, is discipline.

Sounds harsh, I know. Children tend to misbehave at times, and it can be very frustrating, tiresome, and can begin to make you feel helpless. Knowing exactly how to handle situations appropriately in the moment when a child is acting up is never easy.


Most Toddler's and Preschool aged children don't understand how to communicate properly which results in misbehaving. If a child is hungry, tired, ill, upset, afraid, they will throw a tantrum, or a fit. Children are pure, and do not have bad intentions when it comes down to "bad" behaviour. Parent's have the ability to prevent those kinds of problems by looking for unmet needs, just like with infant's when they cry.

In my experience with Teaching, I worked with children of all age groups. I primarily focused on Infant's & Toddler's. I have taught classes of eight Toddler's, and I have also taught classes with thirteen Toddler's. Imagine having thirteen two year-old children!


In Teaching, I have learned about one kind of Discipline technique, and that technique is called "Positive Discipline" (PD). Many School System's use it, and there are parent's out there that use it as well. If you are a parent, or someone that has never heard of PD, I want to share with you the meaning, the benefits, and the differences. In my Profession, and every day life, I have always found it to be the only Technique that works.

Positive Discipline

Unlike Negative Discipline, Positive Discipline focuses on the aspects of a child's good behaviour. There is no such thing as "bad" children, only good and bad behavior. PD is based on reinforcement of good behaviour in a child, rather than verbally/physically hurting them.

People that use Positive Discipline do not ignore the problems. They use this technique to help the child learn how to handle situations in an appropriate manner. This method helps parent's as well because it keeps them calm, friendly, and respectful towards their children rather situations getting out-of-hand.

Differences between PD & ND

Positive Discipline contrasts with Negative Discipline. ND results in violence and anger towards inappropriate behaviour. Children have a harder time learning from their mistakes through Negative Discipline and will continue to act up because they think it's okay/funny. It also plays a negative physiological effect on children.

Positive Discipline Punishments

Positive Discipline is still a form of Discipline and requires a different kind of punishment. Here are couple of differences between PD & ND punishments:

  • Positive Reinforcement- Complimenting a child's good effort/behaviour
  • Negative Reinforcement- Ignoring a child when they are crying/screaming
  • Positive Punishment-Requiring your child to clean his/her mess
  • Negative Punishment- Taking away a favorite toy/privilege due to their behaviour.

Unlike Negative Discipline, PD is done in a kind, encouraging, and assertive manner. The goal of Positive Discipline is to create reasonable limits, and to guide children to take responsibility to stay within those limits, OR learn how to handle the situation appropriately when they don't.

More examples of Positive Discipline Techniques

What kind of Discipline do you use as a Parent?

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© 2018 Ashley Riley


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    • Ashley Marie Rile profile image

      Ashley Riley 5 weeks ago from New Hampshire

      Thank you, Ms. Dora! I didn't even notice it until now!