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Jan 9, 2009

How to Discipline a Child

No matter where a child misbehaves, it is acceptable to talk to them, and ask them to behave. At times, the problem might only be one where a child wants to get something, that you do not want them to get. Explain why, in a calm and loving voice. At other times, and to avoid being the weak parent with the child who is obnoxious in public places, or the overbearing parent who snaps and spanks a child in the aisle of a grocery store, you need to form a plan.

    Define your discipline strategy, in writing, in a time of calm. Don't make it up in response to a problem, or you're likely to overreact. Even if you throw the paper away when done (do not do so), write it down anyway. Written words force you to make very clear decisions.
    Include an escalation strategy, so that if the first disciplinary action fails, you have a back up plan.
    Recognize when a discipline situation is necessary. At that exact moment be sure to apply your strategy, without giving it a second thought or consideration. Any strategy is most effective when applied confidently and consistently, so your child knows exactly when they are overstepping the bounds you set. If immediate disciplinary action is not possible at that particular moment, then wait until you get home. This must be understood by both you and the child as the highest priority to be effective.
    Give a warning to the child the consequences of their actions. (For example, if you disobey me, your getting a time out.")
    # Understand that when the disciplinary action is completed, review why they got into trouble, but do so calmly so you do not scare your child. Ask them not to do that again, explain what will happen if the behavior is repeate. Give your child a hug and a kiss, and assure them you love them.
    Learn that it is important that you each have trust and affection for each other. Children thrive better when they have certain rules to follow, because it gives them the feeling that they are cared for and loved.


    If you have other children never compare them with their brothers or sisters ,that could lead them into low self esteem or make them feel like they have no worth.
     Never tell kids things like "you make me sad" or cry infront of them if they did something very wrong that makes them feel sad and lowers their self esteem.
     For young children, one minute of "time-out" per year of age is a good standard. Longer than that and they feel abandoned, and thus lose trust in you.
     To encourage older children to change behavior, write the problem down, discuss it, and guide the child in developing his or her own correction plan. Make it measurable, and include a punishment for failure (e.g. grounding) and a reward for success (e.g. you will be trusted with this and not bothered about it again unless necessary). Do not make the punishment or reward based on money or possessions; this will lead to neurotic behavior in adulthood (e.g. buying things to feel better about yourself).
     Everyone needs multiple chances to learn, and everyone needs a fresh start. Don't escalate for things repeated a week apart by a young child (i.e. pre-pubescent) -- just for those repeated in the same day. Young children don't have the same way of remembering things as older children and adults.

    Stick to your defined strategy, no matter how mad you are at a given moment. When you are angry, it is biologically impossible to think clearly, and it can take up to an hour for your hormones to return to normal. That's why you should decide these things when you're calm.
     No matter how intelligent your child is, remember that you are dealing with a child. Don't get into psychoanalysis; don't invite a child into an adult-level review of the problem. Tell the child the rules and consequences for breaking them, and apply it consistently. This will make the world seem to be a fair, safe, and predictable place.


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