Diana Jiménez, a psychologist and Adlerian counselor from Manzanares, Spain, has dedicated over 20 years of her life to understanding and enhancing parent-child relationships. Her latest book, “Positive Discipline: How to Raise Confident, Responsible, and Capable Children” (Grijalbo, 2024), reflects her deep expertise in Adlerian psychology and her commitment to empowering families. Through her work on platforms like Infancia en Positivo and collaborations on educational ebooks, Diana provides invaluable insights and practical strategies for parents navigating the complexities of child-rearing.

What is Positive Discipline and Why It Matters in Parenting:

Question: What is positive discipline, and why is it important to apply it in parenting?

Response: Positive discipline is a life philosophy aimed at improving personal relationships, rooted in Alfred Adler’s psychology, emphasizing humans’ inherent creativity and social interdependence. It’s crucial in parenting because it fosters values like respect, responsibility, and empathy, which are often neglected in modern society.

Messages Sent by Parenting Approaches:

Question: What message does the statement “If you tidy your room, I’ll buy you a toy” convey to children?

Response: Such statements constitute coercive threats that undermine a child’s autonomy and critical thinking. They teach obedience devoid of understanding and respect, potentially leading to submission, rebellion, or feelings of inadequacy.

Dealing with Children’s Lies:

Question: Is it normal for children to lie frequently, and should parents be concerned?

Response: Children’s lies differ from adult deception and are often rooted in their imaginative understanding of reality. It’s essential to view childhood lying through the appropriate lens, recognizing developmental stages and addressing underlying motivations.

Firm Parenting Without Yelling or Punishment:

Question: How can parents maintain firmness without resorting to yelling or punishment?

Response: Effective discipline involves setting boundaries with kindness and prioritizing connection over correction. Yelling and punishment lack educational value and can harm both parent-child relationships and children’s mental well-being.

Pitfalls of Overprotective Parenting:

Question: What do parents achieve by overprotecting, shielding from suffering, isolating, or undervaluing their children?

Response: Overprotection diminishes a child’s resilience and deprives them of opportunities to learn from mistakes and navigate emotions. Shielding children from adversity hampers their emotional growth and fosters dependency rather than independence.

Understanding Children’s Behavior:

Question: Do children misbehave, or do they feel bad?

Response: Children’s behavior reflects their emotional state, with actions often serving as expressions of underlying needs or beliefs. Recognizing and addressing these underlying factors is key to fostering positive behavior.

Building Connection with Children:

Question: How can parents effectively connect with their children?

Response: Genuine connection with children goes beyond managing behavior and requires understanding their developmental stage, cognitive processes, and emotional needs.

Nurturing Through Encouragement and Trust:

Question: How can encouragement and trust be integrated into positive discipline?

Response: Encouragement and trust are essential elements in fostering a child’s self-esteem and resilience. Positive discipline involves nurturing strengths, fostering a growth mindset, and offering support and appreciation.

Benefits of Agreements with Children:

Question: Are agreements with children beneficial?

Response: Agreements empower children, fostering a sense of autonomy and responsibility, and are instrumental in developing a healthy self-esteem from an early age.

Prioritizing Personal Growth Over Control:

Question: What does it mean to prioritize personal actions over enforcing children’s behavior?

Response: Redirecting focus from controlling children to managing one’s own actions is essential for effective discipline. It involves modeling self-respect and boundaries, teaching children through example rather than coercion.

Embracing Children’s Individuality:

Question: How can parents avoid imposing unrealistic expectations on their children?

Response: Accepting and embracing a child’s unique traits and abilities is vital for their healthy development. It involves guiding them on their journey while providing a supportive environment where they can flourish.

Through her profound insights and practical advice, Diana Jiménez advocates for a parenting approach grounded in empathy, respect, and mutual understanding. By prioritizing positive discipline, parents can cultivate strong, nurturing relationships with their children, laying the foundation for their success and well-being.

By Danny