When parents think about discipline, all too often they equate discipline with punishment.
“What’s wrong with punishment?” you may ask. First, punishment is costly. It results in kids feeling badly, both about themselves and about you. And it’s not very effective. What’s worse is that whatever you focus on not wanting, you’ll get more of. The more you insist that they “don’t do that,” the more likely they will do it again.
If you add a threat, like, “Don’t do that again or I’ll… ” your odds of gaining compliance decrease even further. So what’s another way to think about discipline? Try focusing on the root inside of the word. Discipline comes from the same root as disciple. What’s a disciple? Someone you teach — hopefully in a kind way!
So instead, try these 4 alternatives to punishing your kids.
1. Prevention. If you don’t want kids to get fussy, feed them every few hours and make sure they get enough sleep. Most misbehavior comes from kids being tired and hungry. Prevention is a far easier solution than having to deal with after-the-fact irritation when they get grumpy or aggressive.
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