3 Child Discipline Methods

Disciplining your child is a matter of understanding their personality and what they'll best understand. Starting with the basic proven methods is a great way to see what works in your home and adjust it from there.

Through the influence of the field of child psychology, child discipline methods have become more thoughtful and sophisticated, and there are many successful techniques. What may work for one child and in a certain circumstance may not work for another. Keep in mind that there is no "one size fits all" method of child discipline.

1. Stay Focused and Unemotional

Regardless of the situation, it is important to stay coolheaded. The first way that a child learns from any parent is by example. Your attitude during discipline will have a much larger impact than might be suspected. Some children can enjoy creating a response more than actually engaging in the activity that caused it. When they see that there is no negative response other than a reprimand, this may serve to halt inappropriate behavior.

2. Use Time-Outs

Consider using a brief time-out at the start of behavior issues. This method allows for two things. First, it stops the bad behavior immediately. Second, it allows you to focus on what the actual issue is so that you can assess the situation and decide upon an appropriate consequence. Doing this before actually taking action can be very effective, and sometimes, the issues can be more easily resolved while you and your child have a chance to think about what happened. In some cases, children actually realize that what they did was wrong on their own.

3. Find Out Why

When misbehavior occurs, finding out why it happened is an important step toward resolution. Sometimes, a child is not thoroughly aware that she even acted out or broke a rule. Make all rules known as much as possible. Post a list of rules somewhere that they can be referred to often. Perhaps the bad behavior occurred because of a misunderstanding that can easily be corrected. For younger children, take the time to correct behavior as much as possible in a gentle fashion. Discipline is part of learning how to behave in society. The best communication possible with your child is the most important aspect of successful child discipline methods.

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