The 9 Biggest Discipline Mistakes Parents Make To err is human, and to make discipline mistakes is sometimes a part of being a parent. The next time your child misbehaves and you find yourself losing your cool or wondering if you are handling your child’s bad behavior the right way, think about these solutions to fixing common discipline mistakes that parents often make. Mistakes are what we learn from so that we can grow.
1 | Not being respectful We parents ask our children to respect us, but we sometimes forget that respect should be a two-way street. One of the most common mistakes parents make when disciplining children is yelling, speaking in a harsh and angry tone, or even insulting their children.
2 | Disciplining while angry When you reprimand your child while you mad about something they did, you are more likely to shout or say something you don’t mean. Take a few minutes to calm down. In fact, taking some time to reflect on the conflict may help you both deal with the situation in a calmer manner.
3 | Being inconsistent If you reprimand your child for not cleaning his room one day and then not bother to talk to him about it when his room is messy for days on end, your child is getting a very inconsistent message. Give your child clear and simple directions. Set him up for good behavior, and if he does not follow through, give him a consistent set of consequences.
4 | Talking/explaining too much While it’s a good idea to talk to your child about why something she did was not appropriate so that she can have a clear sense of what she did wrong and how she can behave differently the next time, going into lengthy and detailed explanations about her behavior is not a good idea. Be as direct as possible and break it down into basics for your child.
5 | Going negative Hearing a string of “don’ts” and “no’s” isn’t any fun for anyone, especially a child. Approach things from a more positive perspective by talking about what can be done better. Show your child some examples of how to speak in a nice and more friendly manner.
6 | Thinking disciplining means punishing Often, parents forget that the point of disciplining children is to give them firm guidelines and limits so that they do not need to be punished. Disciplining means setting up boundaries and expectations so that kids know what is expected of them. When you discipline a child, you are showing her how to make good choices and choose behaviors that are positive and ultimately good for her.
7 | Not practicing what you preach You tell your child not to tell lies but routinely fib to get out of things you don’t want to do, like you yell at your children and angrily tell them to speak nicely to each other. The problem is that we often do not see our own behavior, and forget that our children are watching our every move and learning how to behave by using our example. As much as possible, try to live up to the example that you are setting up for your child.
8 | Not fitting the discipline technique to your child When it comes to child discipline, one size does not fit all. What worked on a child’s sibling or the kids of friends may be the wrong approach for that particular child. Try different approaches to tailor discipline techniques to each individual child.
9 | Not disciplining children at all Among the many important reasons why we need to discipline children is the fact that children who are raised with clear limits and guidance are more likely to be happy, pleasant people who have good self-control. When children are not disciplined, not given any limits or consequences and are spoiled, they are often selfish, unable to selfregulate, and unpleasant to be around. Not disciplining a child is not good for him. As long as you handle his misbehavior with love and firm guidance, your child will learn and grow from his mistakes.