There is a lot of information out there about disciplining children. One one hand you have experts saying you must maintain discipline so children can be made to follow the rules. This will somehow make them successful citizens. This more authoritarian style of discipline generally comes off as harsh and controlling.

The other way that discipline seems to come up is one where the children are given limited to no boundaries and not told what to do. This is the more permissive parenting style that also creates problems for kids.

Mindful discipline is a way of showing up with your kids and being a teacher first. Instead of thinking about disciplining as a way of controlling and punishing kids it is to see ourselves as teachers who are helping kids to learn what is appropriate at each developmental level.

With mindful discipline parents can show up with a fresh mindset and see what their kids need to learn in the moment. A child may be struggling to figure out how to share their toys in one moment and how to control their impulse to hit their sibling in another. At each moment we step in not with harshness but a desire to help our kids learn.

This doesn’t mean that we don’t ever get upset and frustrated with our kids. It is just framing discipline not around punishment and control but around teaching and connection. The goal is not to get your child to do what you want, but to see each moment as an opportunity to learn how to do things more appropriately.