The Easiest Way to Practice Positive DisciplineMarch 27, 2020
This is a sponsored post written by me for Goodtimer. All opinions are mine alone.
With the coronavirus pandemic in full force, everyday life has become very different for so many of us. Many schools have closed and a number of regions have instituted lockdown orders, forcing families to stay home as much as possible. However, all these drastic changes can be just as difficult for kids as it is for parents, and so behavior issues can sometimes creep up during this uncertain time.
Ever since my daughters were born, I’ve always practiced positive discipline. Essentially, it’s a method of parenting, in which parents clearly establish which behaviors are considered appropriate and expected; then good behavior is reinforced, encouraging children to continue the good behavior. I have always gravitated toward this parenting style because studies have shown that positive discipline is associated with improved self-esteem, better social skills, higher problem-solving skills, happier children and more. In recent months, we have been using Goodtimer and it has been helpful for encouraging positive behavior from the kids. During this recent period of social distancing, the Goodtimer device has been especially helpful in allowing my kids & myself to navigate this new reality more smoothly.
So what exactly is Goodtimer and how does it work? It’s actually the world’s first educational toy that encourages kids to form good habits using positive reinforcement, tangible incentives, and family participation. This interactive clock-style toy encourages my kids to make good choices, by offering meaningful incentives; this leads to patterns of positive behavior.
A good place to start when you first get Goodtimer is with the included book. It tells an entertaining back story, including how the device works and how to set it up. In fact, reading the book with your kids is the ideal way to introduce Goodtimer because it makes it possible to clearly specify all the house rules to ensure everyone understands them.
When a child makes a good choice, they turn their Goodtimer on by flipping it right-side up. It glows green and a positive sound plays and the device starts tracking Good Time. If the child engages in a negative behavior (she hits her sister, for example), you let them know they need to flip their Goodtimer upside down, deactivating Good Time as a consequence for their behavior. Once the child is back on track, they can reactivate their Goodtimer. As the day passes, glowing segments of the toy illuminate in series over time, visually demonstrating a child’s progress. This system makes it so easy for my kids to keep track of their Good Time. Good Time can be earned when a child completes her schoolwork, for example.
Good Time continues to get accumulated throughout the day as long as the child is continuing to make good choices. As long as the child is nice to her siblings, completes age-appropriate chores, brushes her teeth and tidies up her room, the Good Time accrues!
Once pre-programmed Good Time milestones are achieved, the device dispenses reusable tokens as a form of positive reinforcement. My girls absolutely love the token system. It’s a tangible way to understand that good behavior is linked to positive outcomes.
The kids can redeem them right away for a small prize or save them up to earn a larger prize. The kit comes with little stickers to change the worth of each token.
As the parent, you can set what each token amount can be redeemed for, such as an hour of screen time, stickers, lollipops, a new doll, etc. There’s a page within the book, where you can clearly delineate what can be redeemed for the tokens.
Featuring a glowing timer, sounds and an interactive 16-capacity token system, Goodtimer is a useful addition to any family. Once you and the kids understand how it works and seamlessly integrate it into your everyday routine, it will continue to encourage positive behavior from your kids. It’s a simple and effective tool that features a rechargeable battery with up to 5 days between charges. To keep up with the latest news & info from the company behind Goodtimer, check them out on Instagram and Facebook.
In addition to encouraging positive behavior with Goodtimer, here are some other ways we’re handling this new social distancing lifestyle:
Set a schedule
Kids love predictability so I created a schedule for weekdays. Both of my kids have a certain amount of school work to get through every weekday. So we set up a flexible schedule that includes some schoolwork, playtime, meals / snacks, walks around the block, etc. Giving the kids a schedule gives them a feeling of some control over their day.
Encourage kids to open up
As unsettling as the pandemic is for adults, this is a scary time for kids too. Their everyday lives are very different from what they were just a few weeks ago. Encourage them to open up to you and talk about any fears they may have. Remind them that this is a temporary situation and things will go back to normal soon. If they are old enough, encourage them to write their feelings in a dedicated journal or draw a picture that describes how they feel.
Make sure kids understand that they must do schoolwork with you at home now. Explain that they have to give their full attention & focus to you as their teacher for the time being. During school hours, they cannot watch videos or play with toys unless school work is finished.
Get fresh air
My kids are always very happy to spend time outdoors. So we try to get outside a few times per day. If you have a private yard or driveway, go out there and encourage the kids to play in the fresh air every day.
How are your kids handling the coronavirus quarantine? How do you encourage good behavior at home? Do you have any other tips for positive discipline?