I recently read an article that related to disciplining your child. Of course, I cannot find that article now to save my life, but I did take notes on when I was reading because I recall a lot of parents saying that discipline is a parenting struggle.
Because I am going off of my notes and not the article (seriously, is my house the only one where things completely disappear!? It was a magazine for Pete’s sake!) I will summarize the entire concept of the article –
Make the consequence make sense.
I know I am guilty of taking away TV time when K slams the door. Or taking away screen time (Kindles, PS4, computer time) when talking back or not doing as asked.
Those consequences don’t make sense for the behavior.
At the beginning of the school year, we struggled with B getting up for school. He was informed that failure to getup and get ready for school meant he would go to school in his pajamas.
That consequence makes sense for the behavior. (And he hasn’t gone to school in his pajamas yet!)
Currently we struggle with A wanting her independence and walking on her own. Unfortunately, she doesn’t quite understand parking lots and streets and will run out. Her consequence is that she has to hold hands or sit in her stroller.
The consequence makes sense.
Do your kids not pick up their belongings? Take them away. They can then earn back their belongings.
Do you have a child that ruins their toys, shoes, clothing, etc? (We used to have the toy problem, now it’s just a clothes problem.) Have them help pay for their ‘new’ thing.
For example, K has gone through 2 pairs of tennis shoes for school already. Brand new shoes purchased in August for school and they were ruined by the end of January. We bought her a new pair at the beginning of February and they are already getting ruined (it’s April for Pete’s sake!) She has been informed that if they continue to get ruined further, she will be helping to pay for her new shoes.
The consequence not only makes sense, but puts her in charge of how she cares for her things.
Have a kiddo who talks back? (I’m sorry, I really am. K is in the talking back/muttering under her breath stage. Heaven help us all!) End the conversation. Stop listening.
This one has been really effective in our house with B when he starts getting angry and yelling. I will calmly tell him that I am not going to sit there and listen to him yell at me, but if he would like to discuss it when he is calm and can talk to me nicely, we can continue our conversation.
The same applies for physical outbursts or tantrums. End the conversation. Walk away. (Of course, only walk away if there is no danger to the child or others.)
B had times when we couldn’t walk away, but we did ignore his behavior. We gave it zero attention. Other times, we could walk away and that’s exactly what we did.
No matter what the behavior, make sure the consequence matches the behavior. It will make a bigger impact and be more effective.
It may not work 100% of the time (in parenting, what does?) but it definitely can be effective.
Do you have any consequences that make sense for behaviors? I’d love to hear them and add them to this post!