Disciplining Kids At Different Ages

No Means No! Laying Down The Law With Your Youngsters

Discipline isn’t always easy or fun but it is necessary. Your children need to know spoiled, disrespectful, mean, rude and other bad behaviors are never accepted. You want your child to be respected and feel confident that they are well behaved when you are not around. Each child is different and has his or her own temperament, personality and comfort zones. Some discipline tactics may work, others may fail but it is important to be dedicated, caring and consistent when reinforcing good behavior and eliminating the bad.

What’s the motivation? Understand why your child is acting up in the first place. Do they need more positive attention from you? Are they tired, hungry, having problems at school? Identify the problem and work to eliminate the negative reactions. If you can heal their emotions and get them to have a good grasp at identifying and communicating their feelings in a healthy positive way, you will see less outbursts and uncomfortable moments.

Practice what you preach! Part of having a respectful youngster is being respectful yourself. Establish your role as an adult who knows and acts best. Children are sponges and pick up on every behavior conversation and attitude. Make sure you are setting a good example. When you see others acting poorly, explain to your child the mistakes in a non-judgmental and compassionate way. Let them know that type of behavior isn’t good for the long term in life.

Set boundaries. Your child will naturally want to know how far they can go before they’ve crossed the line. It is your job to uphold boundaries and have a firm tone of voice and be ready to enact discipline strategies and enforce rules at a moment’s notice.

No need to make excuses or be permissive. You need to have authority when dealing with your children. Stay consistent and firm in your expectations.

Beware of “Because I say so..” Explain to your children why there are specific rules in place. Bedtime for example, “if you don’t get a proper night’s sleep you will be tired and not feel well in the morning. You need the energy to have a good day tomorrow.”

Teach morals, compassion and cultivate a conscience. If your child isn’t fair to another kid, explain to them how their actions hurt another’s feelings. They need to understand the difference between right and wrong.

Listen patiently. Teach your child to be a good listener. Being a good listener doesn’t mean being quiet or waiting to speak but really hearing and understanding what another person has to say.

Cause and Effect. When your children are defiant, show them there are consequences to their actions. They will need a timeout or their favorite toy will be off limits because of what they did.

Know when to say sorry. Show them the power of a heartfelt genuine apology and how they plan to find healthy solutions to a problem they started.

Never get Physical. You should never under any circumstance get physical with your child to punish them, as it is harmful to their mental, emotional and physical health. Spanking sends the wrong message. Instead, revoke privileges and send them to a quiet time out location where they aren’t allowed to do anything but think about what they’ve done.

Be a Parental Unit. When you are co-parenting you need to show a unified approach (one parent shouldn’t be the disciplinarian and the other the fun parent). Both parents need to share equal responsibility and authority. Don’t back down or break your own rules or take too long to correct the situation.

Disclaimer: This information is for educational purposes only. Please consult your child’s healthcare provider directly for medical advice, diagnoses, and treatments. If you have specific questions or concerns about the health or development of your child, consult your child’s physician. 


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Johnelle is a freelance writer and editor. She enjoys all things good for the soul: fitness, painting, traveling, taking photographs of her dog, yoga, dancing, and singing in her Southern California band.

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