Today’s Gift on the Joy. Peace. Love. @ Home advent calendar for parents

One hour one-on-one coaching in Positive Discipline
with Chantal Bourges, Certified Positive Discipline Trainer and Coach

Happy Child.

How to receive this individual coaching?  Take the fun quiz on the Parent Advent Calendar today and you could be the lucky one to win the draw.

Positive Discipline

Positive Discipline is a science-based approach to building respect-full and cooperative relationships.  It works between adults and children as well as between spouses and even with colleagues.

Put simply, it works!

And part of the success lies in the use of encouragement, of pouring courage into our children because…they do better when they feel better!

“A child needs encouragement like a plant needs water.”
– Dr. Rudolf Dreikurs, child psychologist

Encouragement.  What does encouragement really mean?  And (let’s be real) does it work in France?!?!

Chantal Bourges, a French 🙂 mother of 5 children and a Positive Discipline trainer and coach, will help you identify the phrases, tone of voice, and body language to use to encourage your child.


What Encouragement is NOT


Encouragement vs. Discouragement

Every parent has experienced a moment when he or she ran out of energy or patience or the generous spirit (or all of them) and gave our child “a piece of our mind.”  It may have begun with a discouraged child who misbehaved…and often results in lack of peace of mind for all involved.

Discouragement could sound like this:

Hurry up!  Why are you always dragging behind?!

It’s time to brush your teeth.  Why are you just sitting there?

Why do I always have to remind you to ______?  When will you learn!

Oh, forget it. I’ll do it.” (Said with exasperation.)

Do you know the game Mole Hammers?  These responses (and I have spoken them too) are like hammers.

Abraham Maslow said, “If your only tool is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.

And you and I might temporarily suffer from Nail Vision. 🙁

Mole Hammers by appsy

The child pokes his head out with a misbehavior.  We tap.  Yay!  It worked!  And so we tap again.

And again!

Mole Hammers from appsy

But who wins?  Not the parent-child relationship.

Usually, we parents then feel bad acting so severely, and we swing to the other end of the behavioral pendulum: soft and sweet.

Encouragement vs. Enabling

Enabling could sound like this:

I’ll hurry and do ______ (make your bed, pick up toys, do homework!) while you have your breakfast.

Honey, you are so smart.  You don’t REALLY need to do your homework.

You forgot your _____ again? I’ll write an excuse for you.

If you brush your teeth, I’ll buy you candy.” (???!)


The job will probably get done.  Homework will be turned in.  Teeth will get brushed.

AND Mom and Dad will be exhausted.

Encouragement vs. Praise

Many French people misinterpret encouragement to mean praise, the expression of admiration and approval.  They find it sounds vacuous and without substance.  There can be a grain of truth in this perception.

Praise can sound like this:

I am sooooo proud of you.

You are awesome.

What a good girl/boy!

Praise is like candy.  Pleasurable AND insufficient for nourishment.

So What IS Encouragement?

Encouragement is nurturing a strength in your child.

And even challenging kids have strengths.  It might require a more extensive search…

Encouragement sounds like this:

You really showed perseverance in finishing that homework by yourself.

You remembered to brush your teeth without a reminder.

It was hard to be the only standing by Joey at recess.  You must be proud of yourself.

And it even works with a “problem” child.  Try and see the transformation encouragement generates. 🙂

I appreciate how you avoided a fight with your sister. I gave you “The Look” and you backed down.  That took restraint.  Thank you.


A further step in encouragement consists of expressing your emotion related to a child’s behavior.

When you brush your teeth without a reminder, I see that I can trust you with little things and it makes me want to trust you with bigger responsibilities.

I appreciate when you are kind to your brother.  Thank you.

You did not give up.  It was a delight to see you grew in confidence through that challenge.

And encouragement even works in disciplinary situations too.

I see that you came out of bed on your own.  I’m sure you can get back into it on your own too.


Might any of these situations sound too familiar?

Do you wonder whether encouragements could naturally flow from your mouth?  That’s where Chantal’s help will pour courage into you!

Posted in Parenting

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