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Disciplining Your Child

Disciplining Your Child

Five Steps to Disciplining Your Child

Do you need alternative ways to get through to your children? Are you at the end of your rope? Here are Five Simple Steps on How to Discipline Your Kids-without spanking.

1. Commit Yourself.
It's crucial that your child knows that you're going to do what you say you will. If you explain what a punishment will be, and then don't act on it, you will have less credibility the next time. Make a commitment to your child's discipline, and be consistent in your behavior toward them.

2. Be Realistic in Your Expectations of Your Child.
Don't ask your child to do anything he/she cannot do. Make sure that what you are asking of your child is a behavior within his or her reach - if it's not, your child will get frustrated and be less likely to listen to you in the future.

3. Define Your Child's Currency.
Find out what your child values - it could be a toy, a particular activity, or even a privilege like getting to stay awake to a particular hour. If you control the currency, you control the behavior that currency depends on. Once you understand what your child values, you can withdraw positive things (taking away the toy) or introduce negative things (making them take a time-out) as a form of discipline.

4. Give Your Children Predictable Consequences.
It's important for your child to understand that the same result will come from the same behavior. Make your child feel like he/she has control over their life: If your child behaves in "Way A," they need to be sure that they will always get "Consequence B." If he/she can count on the rules staying the same, they're more likely to abide by them.

5. Use Child-Level Logic.
Explain your values in terms your child can understand. Take the time to explain the reasons behind why you are asking he/she to behave in certain ways - if your child understands the kinds of behavior you'd like them to avoid, they're more likely to apply that reasoning to different situations, instead of learning to stop one behavior at a time.

What to do when you and your spouse disagree on discipline...
Recognize What Your Arguments Do to Your Children.
No child likes to see his or her parents fight. When you argue about what to do with your kids, you create a troubling environment for them, which could have serious long-tem effects. Fighting with your spouse shifts the focus away from your child - and how they can learn to stop misbehaving - and on to a "parent versus parent" situation.

Negotiate a Plan in Calm Waters.
Sit down with your spouse and try to agree on ways to discipline at a time when nothing is wrong. When you discuss things calmly, you're more likely to come up with a plan you can both stick to. This will allow you to talk about what's best for your child, and not "who's right."

Present a Unified Front.
Kids understand when their parents feel differently about disciplining, no matter what their age. Children will often get away with misbehaving simply by creating an argument between you and your spouse - and this not only lets them off the hook, it creates a problem between the parents. Make sure that your child sees both parents following the same guidelines, no matter what the scenario. Once your kids start receiving the same treatment from both parents, they'll stop using your disagreements as a way to avoid punishment.


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