The heart of the discipline

Doing discipline well is a common parenting challenge, and it’s not surprising when you consider that every child, and every situation, are so different. Ideally we want the result of discipline to be:

  • a lesson learned, or at least some steps in the right direction
  • everyone still feels good about themselves, and each other, after it’s over

The common ingredient when discipline meets these goals is that parents undertake discipline as something that you do for your child, not to your child. When anger or revenge cloud our thinking, wait until they pass. It doesn’t matter if it takes five minutes, or half an hour, but resolve never to deliver consequences until you’ve calmed down and can think clearly. 

Also keep in mind you don’t abosultely have to deal with the situation right now. It can be a trap to feel you have to address the problem or behaviour immediately – it may be that a conversation the next day, or when you or your child / teen are calmer may offer more chance of being reasonable, being heard, and the conversation going well.  A simple statement such as “I am not happy about this – we will talk further about it in the morning” my be the best best for both of you.

Based on a Hot Tips bulletin from “the Parenting Place”