Tips for Successful Gentle Discipline

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Discipline is a necessary form of parenting. It is also an expression of love and concern; especially, if you want your child to live freely and safely. Additionally, discipline is one of the most controversial issues facing parents today. It is also a topic that you and your spouse should discuss before you both decide to have children together. There are several ways to discipline your child, but today we will highlight some tips for successful gentle discipline.

I interviewed Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Faith Davis, to share some tips that she thinks every parent should know. These tips are successful, easy to use, and will help you build a strong foundation to guide your child in the right direction for the rest of his or her life.

  • Make your requests clear and consistent.Your child needs to understand what is right and wrong, what is OK for him to do or not to do. If you tell your child that something is off limits, make sure that you mean what you said. So what happens when your child is not listening and needs discipline?
    • If your child is a toddler, changing the scenery or getting him or her to do something different works well to help your child stay happy and obedient.
    • Give your child 2 or 3 options (more than 3 can overwhelm or confuse them), sometimes your child is being disobedient because he may want to do something else that is OK to do.
  • Talk to your child when they are not listening. Let your child know that he or she has disobeyed your request; therefore consequences will follow. The gentle consequences are as follows:
    • Use time out: develop a designated area in your house like a time out chair.
    • Take away a privilege such as: playing on the computer/ipad, a video game, going to the park (exercise is still important, but they can play at home instead), etc.
    • Take away a favorite toy. You know your child and their is something that he or she doesn’t want to part with, so find out what it is and take it away if they are bent on not listening.

Consequences are a part of everyday life. So if your child learns early to take them seriously, you will help save your child from unnecessary suffering later on in life.

For more stage by stage discipline instructions check out the What to Expect website.

Faith Davis, LCSW, LCAS-P has specialized training to provide an array of therapies for young children, adolescents, adults and families, including play therapy and sexual abuse therapy. In addition, Ms. Davis is an experienced clinician with over 11 years experience and advanced training in cognitive behavioral therapy, positive psychology, solution focused treatment, relationship counseling, and parent coaching.

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