21 Jan Discipline Your Child WITHOUT Spanking or Time Out
Today I’m sharing ways you can discipline your child without spanking, yelling, or time out.
Let’s face it, sometimes conventional methods just don’t work.
Use these tips to start parenting proactively and find creative ways to see positive behavior changes in your kids.
Discipline Tip #1: Use Positive Reinforcement
Most children want to please the adults in their lives. When we began to encourage and reinforce good behaviors, they will naturally want to continue those behaviors.
Here’s an example of positive reinforcement:
Johnny and Susie are late to school. Susie has her shoes on and Johnny doesn’t.
Your goal is to have Johnny put his shoes on.
So, instead of saying, “Johnny, why don’t you have your shoes on!?!?” you can say, “Susie, thank you so much for getting your shoes on, give me a high five!”
Then Johnny will run to put his shoes on because he wants to give you a high five too.
When we encourage and applaud kids in front of their siblings, they stand taller and become a good example.
If you haven’t checked out the post about raising confident kids, I highly recommend it, I go into depth about the right kind of encouragement for your kids.
Discipline Tip #2: Look for Teachable Moments
Instead of parenting reactively, parent with intention. When kids are stressed out or throwing tantrums, they can’t think clearly.
Literally, their brains don’t function at full capacity and they can’t think clearly.
That’s why it’s super important to use teachable moments when they’re NOT throwing tantrums.
Don’t try to speak to their logic while they’re throwing a fit. What’s important at that time is calming them down and connecting with them.
Here’s an example of using a teachable moment:
Susie comes home from school and tells you about a friend at school who got in trouble.
The friend was talking and not listening, and missed recess.
Your goal is for Susie to not have to experience the consequence of missing recess.
You can say to Susie, “How sad that they had to miss recess! Do you like recess? What would you have to do to make sure you got recess?”
Then begin to role play different situations.
The next time Susie’s friend gets in trouble, she’ll remember the role playing and the consequence, and be more likely to make the right decision.
There are studies that show that planning out responses in advance help to strengthen the likelihood of those responses when the situations actually occurs.
In plain English, the more you child imagines doing the right thing, the more likely they’ll be to do the right thing when the situation actually happens.
Consistency will do the hard work for you, so do this often.
Discipline Tip #3: Use Natural Consequences
So, I know you’re thinking: “Ashley, these are great…before the behavior is actually happening. But I’m in the trenches right now. Like right now, my kid is refusing to put on their coat. What do I do?”
I got your back.
A drama free way to discipline is to use natural consequences or create consequences that are directly connected to the action.
This is basically teaching your child cause and effect. (Which will end up helping them later in life too.)
You are showing your child: This is what you chose to do, and this is what happened because of your choices.
The nice thing about natural consequences is that you can stay unemotional. It’s nothing personal, it’s just the direct result of what they chose to do.
Here’s an example of using natural consequences:
Johnny refuses to wear his coat.
No matter what you do, he won’t wear his coat.
Your goal is to make him see the importance of wearing a coat.
So, let him go to school without a coat on. Gasp! I know, it may seem cruel, but the natural consequence of not wearing a coat is that you’ll get cold.
So Johnny goes to school without a coat on and he’s cold at recess. The teachers may even require him to stay outside during recess because he does have on a coat.
These are both natural consequences.
And the next morning, Johnny puts on his coat.
After these consequences happen, it’s good to remind them. So a few weeks later, if Johnny doesn’t put his coat on, you can remind him about how he was super cold at the bus stop last time.
His memories will do the work for you.
- The 5 Love Languages of Children
- The 5 Love Languages of Teenagers
- Parenting with Love and Logic
- Creative Correction
In addition to these resources, there is an entire section on parenting in the Thriving Mom Club.
If you’re not familiar with TMC, it’s monthly life coaching for Christian moms. The lesson are done through videos and based on ten areas of life. And parenting is one of them. (And everything is biblically based.)
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