There are more parenting know it alls on the net than can be counted and all of them claiming to know the best way to discipline a child. In fact if you typed in the phrase ‘child discipline’ you couldn’t filter through all the results in less than a couple hours. With all this advice why do so many parents claim they are frustrated because they don’t think their discipline methods are working?
According to Dr. Barkin this could be because discipline if difficult and messy, involves so many factors including being dependent on the immediate situation, child, development of that child, particular circumstance and particular parent. In other words, a parent may be hard pressed to find a common disciplinary method for their entire family.
Barkin says there are four principles to good discipline;
Keep a level head
Establish logical consequences
Apply the consequences as immediately as possible
She also suggests that parents only yell when their child’s well being is at stake and to spank as a last resort. By following these principles any parent can have an outline for their own use. It can easily be adapted to fit a particular child in a particular situation and give any parent piece of mind by knowing they have a plan in place.
When Should Discipline Occur
Another reason many parents may find themselves frustrated with failed discipline attempts could be as a result of waiting too long to establish discipline according to a clinical psychologist at Michigan’s Children’s Hospital, Eric Heiman. He says as soon as there is a problem parents need to address it.
The longer you allow a problem to continue the harder it is going to be for you to step in and establish discipline. This doesn’t mean however that you should continue to ignore the problem, rather expect more resistance from your child and push through with consistency and determination. As time passes discipline will become easier with more successful outcomes.
One of the most important factors for discipline methods to be effective is having both parents on board. Whenever possible you should aim to enforce rules in the same manner with the same incentives for your child. Not only does this offer natural consistency it also shows your child that both parents are standing together for his well-being.