Kids are infamous for testing their parents’ limits. Discipline is a vital part of fostering child development and their mental and physical health. There are enough books to fill a small library on the topic. However, there’s no secret sauce or magic bullet; parents can choose from a variety of discipline strategies to help their children learn and grow in the best way possible. It’s important to be consistent and to choose developmentally appropriate discipline strategies to help your child learn boundaries, become confident and respectful. Parenting is tough, but someone has to do it! Check out these 5 discipline strategies to try out at home:
- You get what you get, and you don’t throw a fit: No more haggling over who gets the pink straw, green cup, or the red gummy bear. Teach your kids that they get what they get and there will be no whining or bargaining as to who gets what. If you have more than one child and are privy to quarrels about the *little* things, this is a great method to add to your family’s discipline strategy.
- Give them a “do over”: Kids are typically aware when they are breaking the rules, by giving your child a “do over,” you’re providing them with an opportunity to make the right choice.
- Be a good role model: Modeling appropriate behavior is really, really important. Always be mindful of what you say and how you say it, not just when you’re talking with your child but when dealing with others too. Always remember: little eyes are always watching and little ears are always listening!
- Boredom isn’t a real thing: If you’re tired of hearing “I’m bored” all the time, teach your child that boredom does not exist, in fact, try to remove it from your family’s vocabulary! Children sometimes need to be reminded that there are so many ways to entertain themselves; enforcing this rule early on will benefit your child as they grow older.
- Focus on Specific Positive Feedback (SPF): Say goodbye to “good job”, highlighting a child’s positive behaviors with specific positive feedback helps children understand expectations, build upon strengths, and helps increase self-esteem and self-confidence.
Behavior doesn’t change overnight. It’s important to practice different discipline strategies to determine which tactics work best for your child, and family as a whole! With child development, consistency is key. Get help from your partner, friends, and family members to ensure you’re all sending the same message to your child.
Kid-focused activities like those at The Little Gym can be a great option for busy families providing age-appropriate programs available after school, on weekends, and even when school is not in session. Whatever approach works best for your family, establishing good habits in children needs to be a year-round priority to lay the foundation they grow.