Forms of Child Discipline - Effective Disciplining vs Punishing Your Children

I really have a problem with people who use the word ''punishment" rather than "discipline." People are sent to prison to be punished. Forms of child punishment include beatings, neglect, and verbal abuse. Forms of child discipline include teaching, allowing natural consequences, and forgiveness. Maybe it's just me.

Now there are some ways to discipline a child that work better than others. The key to positive discipline is consistency. If you say you are going to do something, you had better follow through on it, and every time. Otherwise your kids will learn that what you tell them doesn't matter-you grounded them but you will give in and they're out with their friends. You are teaching them disrespect.

Also, the discipline has got to fit the situation. This is called natural consequences and if done consistently, your child will learn that if he/she exhibits this behavior that will be the consequence-every time. Parenting is hard work! It's so exhausting, in fact, that it is much easier to ignore negative behavior or let it go "this time." That kind of permissive parenting won't teach them not to do it again, however, and may cause them to push the boundaries even further next time.

Onto the solution, because we want to be solution oriented. Consistency, fairness, and predictability are your keywords for positive discipline. Let's take the subject of hitting. If your child is a hitter, hitting or spanking them every time they hit is ludicrous; they will only learn to hit people smaller than them. Hitting is a physical reaction for people who lack vocabulary and the ability to express themselves. This is especially true of preschoolers who do not have a good grasp of language or the ability to state their needs. (It is true of a lot of adults as well, but that is another article.)

So you want to teach them to ''use their words." This means that when they hit, the first action you take is to diffuse the situation. Remove the child from the victim for a few minutes, but not too long. Send them into their room for twenty minutes and they won't remember what the fuss was about. Remember the attention span you are dealing with. Then come back and get them to talk, and don't think it's going to be easy, but if you keep at it and are consistent in your form of child discipline, eventually your child will become articulate. I suggest you take an active parenting workshop on positive discipline when one comes to town, they are a godsend.


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