As a mother, I understand that can be hard to keep your cool—especially when your little one is pushing your buttons! However, I strongly believe that is important to keep a level head when it comes to discipline. After all, no one benefits from the situation if you lose control and start acting like a child, too.
Here are 10 things not to do when it come to disciplining your kiddos.
This can be hard sometimes. (Especially when you’re toddler throws himself on the floor in a tantrum.) Just try to remember that screaming has zero effect on behavior (other than to teach your child that it’s okay for him to lose it, too).
2. Offer empty threats.
If your child knows you won’t follow through, she won’t take you seriously. It can be hard to follow through at first, because no one wants to be the “mean parent.” But it get’s easier if your child knows you mean what you say.
3. Undermine your partner.
Openly disagreeing about discipline will confuse your kid and erode your authority. So, try to get on the same page as your partner when it comes to discipline. Take five minutes here and there to talk about how you think you should handle bad behaviors to that you can be a team when it comes to discipline.
4. Fail to set rules.
It’s not fair to punish a child for playing ball in the house if you didn’t tell him it that was inappropriate beforehand. Trust me—setting rules now will help keep you sane in the long run!
Yeah, it works the first time. But eventually you child with expect a reward every single time you request her cooperation. It just isn’t worth it.
6. Argue about consequences.
Your discipline methods are not up for discussion or negotiation. Period. So stand by what you say and don’t backtrack!
When you say “Why can’t you be more like your sister?” the implication is that you child isn’t fine the way she is. Remember to love and value your child for who she is—even when she’s being naughty.
Research shows that striking a child makes him more aggressive, not better-behaved. Plus, there are other ways to handle bad behavior.
9. Cave in to whining.
Standing firm now will make it less likely you’ll hear that whinny voice the next time she wants something. Remember, stand by what you say and don’t backtrack!
10. Set a bad example.
Need to scold your child for fibbing? Okay, but then you can’t let him catch you cancelling plans with your girlfriends because you got “sick.” You might get away with it while they’re little, but remember that children are very perceptive and you will get caught eventually!
Above all, remember that you’re only human and that even parents make mistakes, too! So, go easy on yourself if you make a mistake when disciplining your child. But if you stand by what you say and remember that children need discipline and structure, it does get easier. Promise!