Natural consequences are the experiences which follow naturally, e.g., the natural consequence of going outside on a cold day without mittens is cold hands.
A logical consequence should be logically connected to the misbehaviour. Give children choices regarding the consequence. For example, Billy is teasing the dog – “Billy, you may either pet the dog gently like this (demonstration), or you may take him back to his box. You decide.” The logical consequence of continuing to tease the dog is to lose the privilege of playing with him.
A reward is given after a task is completed. Reward the action NOT the child. Some examples of rewards are hugs, smiles, kisses, special privileges, thank-you’s, etc.
Ignore behaviours that are not harmful to the child or others. Calling attention to some behaviours, for example, temper tantrums, will reinforce the undesired behavior.
If your child is at the beginning of a tantrum, you may find it effective to distract his/her attention to another subject or activity. For example, if your child is angry about wearing a seat belt, you can make a game of counting the blue cars on the road.
Respect and Active Listening
Children have the right to be politely spoken to as well as actively listened to. For a young child who is still forming an opinion about himself or herself, active listening is critical and crucial, if her or she is to believe that he or she is an important individual with feelings and thoughts that matter.
e.g., Child: “I won’t take the garbage out and you can’t make me.”
Parent: “I know you don’t like to take out the garbage. Would you like to trade your chore for one of mine? I’ll trade taking out the garbage for cleaning the sink in the bathroom.”
Let your child know you understand how he or she is feeling and that it is “okay”. For example, “You are really angry at your friend and it’s okay to feel that way. How can you let him know?”
By setting limits, parents create an organized, predictable environment where children feel safe, secure and confident.
Give a clear message to your child. Say what you mean, mean what you say, and do what you said you would do.
Provide Structure Expectations
Children require routines in order to provide them with security in knowing what comes next.
Age Appropriate Expectations
Keep in touch with your expectations according to your child’s age. Make sure your expectations are realistic.
Choices help parents teach good decision-making skills while remaining in control of activities and order in their child’s day. For example, “Do you want to wear your snow pants or your leotards and a pair of jeans?”
Children learn from watching and listening to others. For instance, if you want your child to be polite, you should use “please” and “thank-you” when talking to him and others.
Encouragement And Focusing On The Positives
Consistently noticing and praising your child’s appropriate behaviours encourages your child to behave in a pleasant manner. For example, “You are doing a great job of keeping your bedroom tidy these days. Keep up the good work!”
Additional Tips to Discipline
Act promptly when your child misbehaves so that he or she will attach the behaviour and reward or punishment. Continue to praise and encourage good behaviour.