Friday, March 26, 2010

10 Ways to Handle Discipline Dilemmas

  1. BE FIRM AND KIND A child is more likely to hear what you're saying if it's said in a neutral tone.
  2. PAUSE It's ok to say, "I'm too angry to talk about this right now. We will talk about it in a little while."
  3. TEACH-DON'T PUNISH Teach your children how to behave, rather than punish for misbehaving. Say, "I don't like it when you leave your roller blades in the entry way. They belong in the mud room. How can I help you remember?

  4. BE POSITIVE Instead of saying, "How many times do I have to ask you to brush your teeth?" say, "Go brush your teeth and let me know when you're finished, then we'll read a book."

  5. GIVE EXPLANATIONS NOT THREATS By giving a brief explanation of why she needs to do as she's told, you give her a reason to behave.

  6. REFUSE TO GET ANGRY Instead of focusing on your child's misbehavior and working yourself into a lather, try to use each conflict as an opportunity to guide and direct your child.
    7. GIVE INCENTIVES Inspire your child to cooperate with phrases like, "It's almost time to go. Why don't you hurry down the slide one more time, then let's hustle home. I'd like to make cookies!"

8. BE FLEXIBLE If your child asks, "Can I just finish watching this show before we go?", try to be reasonable. If you have the time to spare, try to make room for your child's requests. This is a great way for kids to learn about negotiation. Besides, why say no when you could say yes?

9. DROP THE POWER STRUGGLES Nothing is as frustrating or counter productive as having a showdown. Invite cooperation by saying, "We've got a problem. I'd like you to wear a clean shirt, and you insist on wearing the same shirt every day. How can we solve this problem?" Your child is more likely to cooperate if he feels some ownership in solving the problem.

10. BE SMART As parents, we often deal with problems in the same manner, even if the approach is ineffective. If what you're doing isn't working, find a new way! It's far easier to change your approach than change your child. Ask yourself, "What can I do to inspire a better reaction in my child?"

*adapted from

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