Making Discipline Work for Your Child

May 4th, 2009

Discipline is not easy for anyone to grasp.  Sometimes we parents think we are doing it right, when we are breaking a lot of rules. We want our children to love us, so maybe we avoid scolding them as much as we should.

But children thrive on discipline. They act like they hate it (and us), but it makes them who they are. Children need rules and need to learn to obey them.

Here are some tips to help you out:

Do: Be Consistent
Discipline without consistency usually fails.  If you make a rule, it should be a rule all of the time.  Not just when you have time to deal with it or in the privacy of your own home.  You must be ready at all time to enforce the rules you set down. A rule is a rule is a rule.  If you make exceptions more than you stick to the rule, no one will believe it.   Same goes for doling out consequences.

Do not: Give In
Your kids are going to beg. They will cry and scream and say they hate you. Don’t give in. Kids are the best manipulators, but as much as they might hurt your feelings, you cannot give in. They know exactly what they’re doing.  If you give in they will know exactly how to work you the next time and you’ll never win. Giving in shows your child that you are not serious about the rules and consequences that you set down.

Do: Lay Out Consequences
Your children need to know exactly what will happen when they break a rule. Then when they break a rule and lose the privilege, it will not be a surprise (though they will act as if it is). It helps to lay out the rules on paper and post them on the fridge or another common area. Also write out what they will lose if they do break a rule. When a rule is broken, that treat they were so looking forward to gets crossed off. Remember that you don’t need to argue with them about this. You make the rules, they live by them.

Do not: Be Afraid To Discipline In Public
Children act up in public and parents get embarrassed. Remember that children don’t embarrass that easily and will throw temper tantrums from your wildest imaginations. Don’t be too embarrassed to discipline your child in public. Who cares what other people think? Besides, anyone who ever had children will know exactly what you’re going through.

Keep positive parenting in your relationship.  Your child will absorb discipline better with some real, earned praise from you. Going out of our way a little bit, can make a big impression on our children. Sometimes your child may need only a few minutes of undivided attention to be happier, feel more needed, and be much more willing to follow the rules.

For great ideas in parenting see “Teaching Children Joy” and “Fun in the Sun Activities for kids.”

Look for more parenting tips at   Child n’Parent.

By:  Destiny

Entry Filed under: Parenting Tips

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