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How to Discipline Children

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Uploaded on Jun 18, 2010

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Getting kids to behave isn't always easy. The key is to start looking at discipline as teaching, not punishment.


Step 1: Establish consequences
Establish rules and consequences for breaking them, then enforce the consequence as close to the bad behavior as possible. You want the child to connect their misbehaving with its repercussions. And be consistent: If you punish children for something one day and let it slide the next, they'll keep testing how much they can get away with.

Tip
Never negotiate with a child; it gives them the power.

Step 2: Try not to spank them
Resist the urge to spank them; studies show that children who are spanked regularly are more likely to become physically abusive themselves, as well as take part in risky or violent sexual behavior as teens and young adults.

Step 3: Use your indoor voice
Keep your voice calm and level when correcting your child's behavior or explaining why they're being punished. Save the screaming for serious situations, like when they're about to do something dangerous.

Tip
If they're not doing anything destructive or hazardous, try ignoring them. Children often act up simply to get attention.

Step 4: Lead by example
Lead by example. Don't punish your children for something you do or your partner does.

Step 5: Present a united front
Always back up your partner's disciplinary decisions, and make sure they back yours. It's easier to keep kids in line if parents present a united front.

Step 6: Reinforce good behavior
Reinforce good behavior. Parenting experts say it's more effective to compliment or reward a child after they've been good than to bribe them to behave.

Did You Know?
Forty-five percent of American and Canadian parents interviewed say they use time-outs to discipline their children.

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