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Common Discipline Mistakes Parents Make

by SarahD on October 14, 2010

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Mistakes Parents Make When Disciplining Their Children

We all want our children to be perfect angels, but we also realize that isn’t realistic. Certainly none of us were perfect, but there are times when our children require discipline. Avoid these common discipline mistakes and oversights with your child or children.

Take into account every child is unique

Your child or children are not in the army. The one size fits all approach has a high failure rate in society, and is likely to be just as ineffective in your home. Effective discipline for one child may have the opposite effect on another. A stern admonition may work on one of your children, while instilling fear in another. You must take a child by child approach based on personality.

Punishment based on your mood

Kids will be kids, but if they do something that is disagreeable, you need to teach them what they did that was wrong. Disciplining a child is part of this process, but don’t let your mood dictate what that discipline may be. You may have had a long day, or heard some bad news, but don’t take out your anger or frustration on your child for some minor infraction.

Ineffective punishment

Sometimes mere words aren’t enough for some children. You have to make them understand that whatever infraction they’re guilty of is serious. How many times have you seen children running wild in the store, with little more than request to calm down from their parents? In that situation, a child has to know that there are consequences for their actions. Maybe restricted time with their favorite toys, or no television time would be more effective than asking them to stop. While telling them what they’re doing wrong is the first step, not all children will heed the message and you will need to go to the next step. This isn’t suggesting that the child has a discipline problem, but we all know that kids can be overly rambunctious at times and need to be disciplined.

Not rewarding a child

Again, your child or children are not in the army. If they have done a good deed, let them know. This is especially true if they are being disciplined. Let them know how pleased you are over their change in behavior. Children love to get praise from their parents and they generally want to please you as well. Make that easy for them. Tell them how wonderful they are when they obey or do something good, and this will set the tone that will make them want to act in the same manner more often.

So the next time your child is throwing dirt or abusing a sibling, take a moment to calculate your response. Think of what might be effective for this specific child. You don’t have to ponder it forever, but at the same time, a knee-jerk reaction may prompt a likewise response. Keep the above tips in mind the next time your child is out of line, and remember, you were a child once, and you were a child once yourself. Your children need to be taught the difference between right and wrong, as you did.

Sarah Danielson is a writer for PUA Reviews where you can find great tips and advice on dating and the art of seduction.

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