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Positive Discipline – What You Need to Know

Help your children become responsible, respectful and resourceful with Kim DeMarchi and positive discipline.
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Kim DeMarchi and event attendees at the Positive Parenting workshop at Hegen Experiential Center. Image credit: Empowered Parenting
By Kimberly
September 12, 2022

Teach your little ones to become responsible, resourceful and respectful members of their communities with Kim DeMarchi, founder of Empowered Parenting. Find out more about Positive Discipline and how this can benefit you and your family.

About Kim DeMarchi

Mum to young adult twins, Kim DeMarchi has been trained and certified in Positive Discipline and Redirecting Children’s Behaviour.

The proud parent of young adult twins, Kim DeMarchi, M.Ed. at Empowered Parenting, has been trained and certified through programs like Positive Discipline, and Redirecting Children’s Behaviour. Dr. Jane Nelsen and the International Network for Children and Families developed these programs respectively. Kim also has training in Youth and Adult Mental Health First Aid, Adverse Childhood Experiences and Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training amongst others. 

What is Positive Discipline?

Kim DeMarchi says, “Positive Discipline is a program designed to teach young people to become responsible, respectful and resourceful members of their communities. Based on the best selling Positive Discipline books by Dr. Jane Nelsen, Positive Discipline teaches important social and life skills in a manner that is deeply respectful and encouraging for both children and adults (including parents, teachers, childcare providers, youth workers, and others).”

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She says, “Recent research tells us that children are “hardwired” from birth to connect with others, and those children who feel a sense of connection to their community, family, and school are less likely to misbehave.” Additionally, children must learn necessary social and life skills to be successful, contributing members to society.  She adds, “Positive Discipline is based on the understanding that discipline must be taught and that discipline teaches.”

Criteria for Effective Discipline

There are four criteria for effective discipline. First, it has to be kind and firm, help children feel a sense of belonging and significance, and is effective long-term. She says that punishment works in the short term, but has negative long-term results. Lastly, it should teach valuable social and life skills to build good character. These include respect, concern for others, accountability, contribution, cooperation and problem solving.

Benefits of Positive Discipline

Using the Positive Discipline Parenting and Classroom Management models, children and adults can develop mutually respectful relationships. Kim says, “Positive Discipline teaches adults to employ kindness and firmness at the same time, and is neither punitive nor permissive.” Adults model firmness by respecting themselves and the situational needs, and kindness by respecting their child’s needs. Next, they should identify the belief behind the behaviour. Kim explains, “Effective discipline recognises the reasons kids do what they do and works to change those beliefs, rather than merely attempting to change behaviour.” 

Other tools include effective communication, problem solving skills and discipline that teaches rather than permitting or punishing. Adults need to focus on solutions rather than punishment, and encouragement instead of praise. Notice effort and improvement, not just success to encourage children. This way, she says, it “builds long-term self-esteem and empowerment.”

Positive Discipline in Action

Try tactics like using curiosity questions such as “How can you make your teeth squeaky clean?” rather than using directives. This helps children think through these situations and come up with their own solutions. Another way is to ask them what they need to wear before heading to school or the park. Next, encourage them to do these things themselves to nurture self-discipline. 

Starting Positive Discipline for Babies and Infants

Discipline means “to teach”. Kim says, “For infants and young babies, parents should respond immediately to their child’s needs.” First, focus on building a warm, supportive relationship and developing healthy routines. This will lay the foundation of trust and successful discipline later. Next, parents can start using a silly voice to distract their kids, or redirect them with a more appropriate toy.

As the baby discovers cause and effect, e.g., by throwing food off their high chairs, parents can ignore the behaviour if the child is looking for a reaction. Otherwise, they can use logical consequences such as removing the food altogether. They should also state that “Food stays on the plate or goes into our mouth to eat.”


Kim says, “They aren’t purposefully misbehaving; they are learning about their world in a curious, appropriate way.” By the time children are 12 to 18 months old, parents can start to see the Positive Discipline principles beginning to take shape. She says, “By eighteen months, many of the strategies will come in handy on a daily basis.” In fact, many Positive Discipline tools also work through the teen years.

Reviews of Kim DeMarchi’s Parenting Workshop

Zoe Chu, Baby and Adult Sleep Expert
Zoe Chu and husband Justin Stewart Saga with Kim DeMarchi.

Zoe Chu says, “Kim’s parenting workshop is truly an eye-opener for my husband and I. Having to juggle our work, and four children – 16 year old twins, 11 and 6 year olds –  all with different temperament and personalities is no easy feat! If only we had discovered this gem right at the start of our parenting lives, I am sure there would be less hair-pulling, yelling and screaming in our household!

 

Of course, I always believe that it’s never too late! Any tools we can get hold of to simplify our parenting lives is always welcomed and appreciated! This workshop really came at such a good time for my own parenting journey. It really needed a complete overhaul and redirection, and this was THE exact thing I needed! I have started implementing some of the things with my spirited child and he’s really enthusiastic and in his words “I am satisfied!” when I asked “Are you happy with the upcoming changes?”

 

So thank you so much Kim for coming all the way to Singapore just to teach this in person! The in person workshop is engaging, valuable and definitely very practical. I highly recommend this life-changing workshop to all parents with toddlers all the way to teenagers!”

Yvon Bock, Founder and Managing Director of Hegen
Yvon Bock and Kim DeMarchi at the Positive Parenting workshop at Hegen Experiential Center

Yvon Bock says, “We are very excited to be partnering with Kim DeMarchi for this Parenting with Positive Discipline class! At Hegen, we believe that it is so important to equip and empower parents with the knowledge and techniques to build a strong foundation for family life. Partnering with Kim is a great start to kickoff a slew of classes and events we have in the pipeline at our Hegen Lactation Centre for parents and families.”

Parenting with Positive Discipline Workshop, 1 -2 October 2022

Learn how to bridge communication gaps, diffuse power struggles, build on strengths rather than weaknesses, and avoid the dangers of praise. Additionally, you can teach your child how to think instead of what to think, and redirect your child’s behaviour. Learn all these in Kim DeMarchi’s two-day course on 1 and 2 October, Saturday and Sunday at Hegen Experiential Centre. Tickets at $550 per person and $780 per couple (spouse only). Purchase your tickets here for $30 off. Registration closes 15 September 2022.

All images courtesy of Empowered Parenting