Four effective ways to discipline your children

As a parent we rely on a toolbox of knowledge and strategies to raise happy, healthy children who can grow into positive members of society. To add to your toolbox, here are Four effective ways to discipline your children.

As your children grow, it’s vital that you provide loving discipline for them. You need to teach them how to behave at home and outside in the world. However, discipline doesn’t have to mean ‘punishment’. There are many ways to discipline your children without hurting them.

To help you provide the loving discipline that will help your children to thrive, here are four strategies to try.

1) Listen to your children

If your children suddenly misbehave, don’t shout at them straight away. Instead, hear them out. Make sure that you know their story first and let them explain the reason for their behavior. Children who feel unheard often refuse to talk, so practice listening to their stories. If you notice that any of your children have difficulty speaking, don’t hesitate to seek help from experts specializing in children’s speech therapy

2) Give calm consequences

Giving consequences is important when disciplining your children, but do it calmly. Clearly explain to them the impact of their actions. For example, if you ask your child to pick up their toys and they refuse, give them simple consequences. Tell them that you will put away their toys for the entire day. 

It’s hard for parents to see their children upset, but if you want them to learn and remember the consequences, don’t give in easily. Instead, let them realize what they’ll be losing if they don’t obey rules. 

3) Set realistic rules and be consistent

If you are setting rules at home, make sure that you explain them to your children clearly. It would be more effective to tell them what they should do instead of what they shouldn’t. Your rules should also be age-appropriate. Don’t set rules that you know they’re not capable of following. And if you want them to follow and remember the rules you set, be consistent. 

4) Redirect unpleasant actions and behaviors

Knowing when and when not to respond to your children’s behavior is also a way to disciple them. Children are quick to get bored, and sometimes that’s why they misbehave.

Let them make mistakes and realize the consequences. Redirect their bad behavior instead of correcting them from time to time. Instead of yelling at them and asking them to stop what they’re doing, ignore them and find something that you and your child can do together.  

For example, if your child starts throwing away their toys, do not instantly ask them to stop. Soon they will run out of toys to throw and will find something else to do. That’s when you can invite them to come to you and help you bake some cookies or start working on a coloring book. Sometimes the way to stop an unpleasant behavior is by ignoring and redirecting it. 

Be the best role model you can – but be kind to yourself

Disciplining children can be exhausting, so be kind to yourself. You’re only human and there will be times when you may feel like you can no longer handle things or feel out of control. And at times like this, it’s okay to give yourself a break.

Make sure your children are safe, and then walk away and take some quiet time for yourself. Once you feel calm again, you can continue providing the care and attention your children need. Above all, the best way to discipline your children is to be their role model.

Photo by Caleb Woods