Parenting Coach

Practical ideas for social, emotional and behavioral challenges

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Discipline behavior, not the child.

What you can do

When disciplining your child, try to focus on the negative behavior rather than speaking negatively about him. Give time-outs or other consequences that are appropriate for his maturity level. Do the disciplining right after he misbehaves.

Always follow through on what you say you’re going to do. Later, after he’s calmed down, talk about other ways to handle the situation next time.

What you can say

“Jacob, I can see you’re getting very excited and are having a hard time using your inside voice. Try to use your inside voice or we’ll have to stop playing with your cars. Did you hear what I said about needing to use your inside voice?”

“OK, we have to put your cars away now because you’re not using your inside voice. Let’s try to remember to use your inside voice when we play with your cars again tomorrow.”

Why this will help

By focusing on behavior, you can help your child see his actions as something he needs to work on rather than viewing your criticism as an attack on his self-worth.

It’s also important to keep in mind that if your child has attention issues, he may behave like a much younger child. He may also tend to push the boundaries of the rules. Consistency and follow-through will help him understand that there are consequences for his negative actions and that you mean what you say.

344Found this helpful
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