When disciplining children, it’s good to have many options.  After all, children behave in a variety of ways!  In fact, you can even use several methods at once.  Here are some helpful approaches:
  • Stay calmThink before you act.  Take time to listen to your child about why the homework didn’t get turned in or the chores didn’t get done.
  • Be loving.  This doesn’t mean you have to be lenient.  Respectful firmness is important, but don’t be intimidating.
  • Give compliments.  Think of your relationship as a blank account.  Your “deposits” (compliments) should far exceed your “withdrawals” (criticisms).  If your child does a great job turning in assignments, notice it!
  • Take charge.  Stand up for your values through actions and words.  Don’t struggle over minor issues.
  • Don’t give in.  When you’ve made a good rule or decision, stick to it!  This sends your child a clear, reliable message.
  • Imagine.  Ask yourself, “How will my child and I look back on this?  Make discipline choices you’ll be proud of later.
  • Forgive.  No one is perfect.  Mistakes are opportunities to learn.  Don’t be too hard on yourself or your child.
  • Have patience.  Progress rarely happens right away.  Give discipline time.  Be proud that you’re both trying! Source: Rose Allen, “Parenting Tools: Tips for Using Discipline,” University of Minnesota Extension Service.