Discipline Techniques that Actually Work
Discipline is an important part of raising kids, but it’s often a challenging one for parents — no one wants to be the “bad guy” but discipline is necessary to help children understand what behavior is and isn’t allowed. Here are several techniques that actually work when it comes to disciplining your children.
1. Positive reinforcement
This technique focuses on praising and rewarding good behavior instead of punishing bad behavior. When you see your children doing something right, make sure to let them know that you noticed and appreciate it. Some ideas for rewards can be extra screen time, or a special treat or activity.
2. Setting limits
When your children understand the rules and limitations you have set, they are more likely to comply. Make sure your expectations are reasonable and take the time to explain why they should behave in a certain way.
When children get out of control, it’s often because they are not engaged in an activity. Redirecting them to another task or activity can help distract them from the negative behavior and put their focus back on something more constructive.
When appropriate, implement a “time out”. This means sending your child to a quiet space or room to calm down and take a break from any negative behavior. Make sure to explain why they are taking a timeout, and only use them as a last resort if nothing else is working.
5. Be consistent
It’s important to be consistent when disciplining your children. Children will test the boundaries to see what they can and can’t get away with, so you need to make sure that you’re responding in the same way to similar behaviors. If your children don’t know what to expect from you, they’ll have a much harder time learning when and how to act appropriately.
6. Apologize when necessary
It’s important for children to learn that we all make mistakes, and that even parents can be wrong at times. When appropriate, apologize for any mistreatment or harsh words, and explain that we all need to learn to be more understanding of one another.
7. Be reflective
It’s important to remember that disciplining children is not just about making them behave. You should also use these moments as an opportunity to talk about why certain behaviors are not okay and how to better handle a situation.
Disciplining children can be difficult and stressful, but if done in a respectful and loving way it can also be a valuable learning experience. By using the techniques listed above, you can help your children learn healthy boundaries and understand what behavior is and isn’t allowed.