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How to Discipline Your Kids

Be a good role model by remaining consistent and calm. Find out the four tips that will help you set rules and limits.

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I'm Dr. Ari Brown and I've got some great discipline tips to share with you today. Many methods work and different ones work for different situations. The key is to be consistent, follow through once you've set up those rules and limits, show respect and remain calm. Remember, you are your child's role model and he's watching you to see how you react when you're angry or frustrated. So, here are the four tips. Tip number one: Teach natural consequences. It is much more meaningful for a child to see what happens when he makes the bad choice in a safe way, of course, than to choose a punishment that has absolutely nothing to do with the poor behavior. So, for instance, if your toddler throws her spaghetti at the wall, she is telling you she is done eating and should be excused from the table. Next time, she'll remember to eat dinner and not play with her food. Tip number two: Ignore certain attention-seeking behaviors. I know it can be hard to disengage but if it isn't a serious offense, just ignore it. Kids will do many things in the name of getting your attention. If your child doesn't get a rise out of you, she will probably stop doing it. So here's an example. Your child loves to interrupt you when you talk on the phone. The solution? Ignore it, or else you have taught her that that tactic works and she will continue to do it again and again. Even better, prepare for attention-seeking behavior and prevent it. Set your kitchen timer and tell her you'll be able to talk to her once the timer goes off. Tip number three: Give choices. Kids want to be in charge. A child is more likely to cooperate if he feels like he is involved in a decision-making process. Just make sure those options you give are all things that you want to do anyway and be careful not to give too many options because that can be overwhelming. So, when you're trying to get out the door in the morning, say, which do you want to do first? Do you want to put on your shoes or put on your coat? Tip number four: Use time-out. Yes, it really works if it's done correctly and consistently. The whole point of time out is time away from you. Your child can be moved to a safe place or you can move away from your child and that can do wonders to keep you calm and in control. The whole point is, losing attention from you is the most effective way to get your message across. Time-out is reserved for more serious offenses that put the child or somebody else in danger. So, for instance, if your child takes a bite out of her friend's arm, she goes directly to time-out city. Just remember, you won't see immediate success with any of these techniques. Your child will test you 20 times to be sure you really meant what you said or be sure he can't get away with things on your watch. Be patient and be consistent and you will see results.