Too often, parents give little thought in advance to management of improper behavior. One technique that can reduce frustration in parents and children is the use of a discipline plan. Below are some suggestions:
Be informed about child behavior at different stages of development. Try to understand emotional development and why children behave as they do.
Develop a discipline plan before having children. Parents should base the plan on what they know about child psychology and what experts recommend.
Correct inappropriate behavior, but do so calmly. Encourage discussion with the child.
As a child develops communication skills have planned discussions about behavior. Draw from examples in stories or from real life incidents. Ask questions that require the child to make decisions about values.
Don’t take misbehavior personally.
When misbehavior occurs apply a consequence that fits a previously developed plan, and do it as soon as possible. Delaying discipline is bad policy.
The punishment (consequence)s hould fit the crime. If the child loses a friend’s toy, you might require that he replace to toy. If he has no piggy bank for resources, he can perform chores around the house to earn money.
Don’t threaten. Parents should say what they mean and mean what they say. Children quickly learn to identify threats and how to ignore them. Threatening will kill the best plan.
Children are people too. They thrive on the right kinds of attention and develop healthy emotions through healthy, non-threatening relationship with important adults in their lives. Parents don’t have to be mean-spirited; they need to know why they do what they do. They must be sure to act in the best interest of the child. Parental actions should encourage mutual communication and emotional growth without fear.