With that in mind, this week's parenting tip is all about discipline. Here are 5 Do's & Don't of Discipline for kids of any age:
- DO Be consistent. Consistency is the key to discipline. If your kid isn't getting a consistent message , they're clueless about how to behave, and may be feeling confused, insecure, and perhaps unloved.
- DO Clearly Communicate Expectations. As a parent, we must overly communicate our expectations for our kids. Children can't follow rules or live up to standards that they don't understand or know about.
- DO Enforce the rules you set. Don't make a rule that you don't intend to enforce. It only creates mixed messages for your kids and creates confusion within your family.
- DO Present a united front. As parents, if you undermine your partner (or another consistent authority figure) you are not making your kids love you more (Admit it; that's why we do it!). You are actually confusing them and undermining their respect for both of you. If you present a united front, you create an atmosphere where your children feel secure and respect authority.
- DON'T bribe. While rewarding your child for good behavior is a great discipline tool, bribing kids to avoid bad behavior only reinforces that negative behavior.
- DON'T get personal. When you tell your child that they are naughty, rude, lazy, etc, you are labeling them. Instead, try to condemn the behavior, not the kid. Instead of saying, "You're so rude! Why can't you share?" try saying something like, "That was a selfish thing to do. It's very rude to take Joe's toy from him."
- DON'T go overboard with punishment. Punishment is just one aspect of biblical discipline, so don't go overboard on that alone. Make sure you're following the old saying of "making the punishment fit the crime."
- DON'T expect children to behave like adults. Newsflash: Your kids are not adults. That means that sometimes they'll do foolish or irresponsible things because...well, they're kids! Our children don't have the wisdom that we do from the life-experience we've gained so we need to remember that as we set proper rules and expectations.
Check back here on Thursday for the Parenting Resource of The Week!