You've had it! Your child is riding your last nerve like a jockey rides a race horse in the Kentucky Derby and you need some parenting advice ASAP. It's time to lay down the law, put the smack down, open up a can of... well, you know. It's time to discipline, which is where we waver and fall down the most as parents. Read and learn from our list of common mistakes that, once you understand, you can avoid.
1. Not Being Consistent
Ask any parenting expert for advice and their answer will be the same. Stay consistent. Discipline is no different. Pick one form of discipline and stick with it. Pick one consequence for bad behavior. The duration or severity may vary, of course, but the consequences should be very certain. Before your kid decides to cut his sister's hair again, he'll know exactly what happens every single time he get's into trouble.
2. Being too Nice, or too Harsh
Too often our biggest mistakes are being either too "I want to be your best friend" or too "Drop and give me 50, you little worm!" Yes, you can be friendly to your child, but don't get so friendly that you're afraid to lay down some rules. On the opposite end of the spectrum, you are not a drill sergeant. Even if you are, don't be one when you get home! If you want to be respected, yelling in your child's face won't get you there. Be firm but gentle. A nice neutral. Your child's guide.
3. Not Communicating Properly
Make the rules clear, post them on the wall if you have to. Talk about your expectations as often as you can. Tell stories about the lessons you learned as a child. Talk to you kids before bed, on car trips, text them, call them, however you can communicate with them, do it. Our children won't know what we expect or what the rules are unless we tell them.
4. Not Being Fair about Punishment
Have you ever given a death row sentence for a parking ticket crime? Then, later on once you realized it was too severe, you changed your mind and took it back, right? We all have. In the heat of the moment, when tempers flare, it's easy to ground your kid for 3 months for a mouthy mistake. Don't. Before you hand out punishment, give it a few hours and allow everyone to reflect. Really think about it. Make the punishment fair and follow it through to the end. If you say two weeks no T.V. then it's two weeks--no exceptions.
5. Letting Your Ego Run the Show
In any situation, tell your kids your reasoning. We take it as a sign of disrespect when our kids question our authority, but the overall goal is to teach them how to make decisions on their own down the line. Share with them your concerns and reasoning. My mom's famous "because I said so" didn't mean much to me, but an explanation may have finally made me understand at some point.
About the author: Amy Stewart-Wright is an 80' music listening, WAH rockin', outdoor loving, Moxie Momma who lives in North Carolina with her husband and 4 kids. Her dream and passion is to inspire thousands of women to find their passions and live their happiest life.