Important disciplinary concepts that parents need to focus on with their children are:
- Being a positive role model for their child's behavior
- Letting the child know who is in charge
- Being consistent, honest, and fair
- Having a written set of rules and a set of house rules for older children
- Utilizing your words and punishments creatively
- Using timing to your advantage
- Maintaining your composure and avoiding anger
- Providing frequent praise and support to your children, showing that you trust your children
- Providing frequent signs of love and affection
- Establish clear and consistent boundaries
Our children want us to be in charge and our children want us to set boundaries for them. Children feel safe and secure when they understand the rules of behavior. Just like adults, who do not like to work in an environment in which the rules are ambiguous or inconsistently applied, children are expecting the same as we do.
Follow through with consequences
Many times parents are afraid to follow through with certain punishments or loss of privileges because of the child's persistent whining and crying. Instead of feeling sorry for your child you should feel happy that the punishment that you provided has had an impact on the child and has created a negative emotional consequence.
Don't Lose Your Temper
When you lose your temper you are not able to think rationally, you do not behave rationally, and you are role modeling and reinforcing a negative behavior children learn from.
Key tips to avoiding anger are:
- Remind yourself that small incidents are usually not the end of the world.
- Take a deep breath.
- Think to yourself about how you are going to handle and respond to the situation so that you don't say anything that you will regret or that you cannot follow through with.
- Try to turn this into a positive outcome instead of an anger-riddled argument, which frequently results in escalation of the entire situation, sometimes hurtful words, and a nonresolution of the problem.
Understand that we are human and that this is much more easily said than it is done.