Disciplining your child is not an easy task. There are so many methods to choose from. Child psychologists, teachers, and parents have argued over how to correctly discipline children. Some say that spanking is taboo, while supporters praise its effectiveness. Some say you just need to listen and reason with the child. Some even say to let the child be free and let him do as he pleases. So how do you discipline your child effectively with so many arguments over this issue? Here are some methods commonly used by parents.
Time Out. Parents use this form of discipline when a child shows unruly behavior and needs to think about what he or she has done. The child is put in a corner of a room without anything to entertain him or her. The length of time a child remains in time out depends on the age of the child, a minute for every year. At the end of the time out session, the child is usually asked these questions. “What did you do?” “What will you do next time?” The child is also made to say “I’m sorry” for his inappropriate behavior.
Taking away privileges. This method of discipline works when a child repeatedly does not listen to adult commands or consistently refuses to follow rules.
If a teenager’s curfew is 11:00 and he or she comes home at 12:00 two nights in a row, then the teen is not allowed to go out next time. If a child refuses to pick up video games off the floor, then the video game itself is taken away.
Practice. This is practiced in many teachers’ classrooms. If a child is caught running in the classroom or hallway, then the child must turn around and walk.
Parents can use this method if a child runs in the house. If a child throws toys into the toy box, then he or she is made to take them out and put them away correctly. You can use this method to practice sitting in a chair at the dinner table, putting clothes away, etc.
Spanking. There is a great argument over the use of spanking. Supporters claim that spanking should be used for serious offenses that could put the child in harm’s way, such as running out in front of a car or putting a hand on the hot stove. Some say that spanking can also be used for attitude adjustments, especially in older children. Spanking should be done with just a couple of slaps on the bottom.
Sticker Charts. This is most commonly used for children who have major discipline problems at home and/or at school. It is also used when other forms of discipline have proved ineffective. If a child displays positive and appropriate behavior, then a smiley face or star is placed on the chart. After a certain number of stickers are earned, then the child is rewarded with a prize, such as a toy, movie pass, or ice cream. Stickers earned for good behavior should not be taken away for negative or inappropriate behavior. Never give a reward if the child has not earned it. Sticker charts can be used daily or weekly.
You may choose to use only one method or combine several methods, depending on the child and behavior. Whatever you decide to use, you need to be consistent. Set firm rules and attainable goals for your child. This will help him or her be more successful in showing positive and appropriate behavior. Never go back on your word. More important, love your child.