Sometimes parents confuse discipline with punishment. The goal of disciplining children is to teach them how to learn from their mistakes and help them understand what is acceptable and appropriate beahaviour. It teaches them how to control their own behaviour. Punishing children means they suffer for their mistake and the parents have all the control of their behaviour. Disciplining children is very important as it helps them learn self-control and gives them structure. It teaches them to respect their parents and other authority figures. Children need structure and without effective discipline children will lack social skills and be unhappy. Here are four discipline techniques to keep in mind:
1. Positive Reinforcement-Acknowledging when your children behave well is a great way to encourage them to keep doing it. When your children behave the way you expect them to reward them with words like "Great job!"
2. Consequences for Unacceptable Behaviour-Explain to your children what the consequences will be if they don't behave. Make sure the consequence is related to the behaviour. For example, if your children don't put the puzzles away after playing with them, they won't be allowed to play with them the next day.
3. Taking Away a Privilege-Take away something your children value as soon as they misbehave. For example, if your children don't behave appropriately at dinner time, you might decide to take away dessert.
4. Time outs-Put them in a boring place like in a chair in the corner of the room or maybe sit them on the bottom of the stairs for a short time (usually one minute for each year of age). Make sure you explain to them why they are in time out so they understand what they did wrong and the reason for the time out.