One of the most challenging parts of parenthood is the development of a discipline system that works. We all have different personalities, and thus different approaches to how we view parenting and discipline. It is very important for couples to discuss their approach to both parenthood and more importantly discipline before they are faced with the first discipline challenge. By discussing your views ahead of time you can more easily work out an approach that is right for your family, and will incorporate aspects of each of you.
With the popularity of such shows as Super Nanny or Nanny 911 it is easy to see that discipline is a challenge for many families. Approaching discipline is a very personal matter and your approach will be different from the next person’s approach. However, there is one commonality between effective discipline approaches, and that is consistency. Consistency between parents and consistency in the approach itself.
When it comes to discipline consistency is key, but so is adaptability. What works for one child is not necessarily going to work for another. A stern talking to may be all it takes to get your little boy to correct his actions, however, a lengthy time out in a quiet area may be necessary to correct your daughter’s actions. We as parents have to determine what works for our child and use that approach consistently.
Good discipline is about teaching your child more than punishing your child. By teaching your child about what behavior is acceptable and what behavior is not you are helping them grow. Teaching them that there are consequences to all of their actions you will not only be helping to correct bad behavior now, but you will be preparing them to be a good member of the grown up world later.
Discussing and deciding on the discipline approach you will take with your children with your partner will not be an easy task. The important thing is to discuss it, you may not agree on everything, but you should agree on the basic philosophy. Remember consistency is key.
Here are a few books regarding discipline that may help you and your partner in your discussion and your development of a plan that works for your family.
- Positive Discipline for Preschoolers by Jane Nelson, Cheryl Erwin, & Roslyn Duffy
- Don’t Be Afraid to Discipline by Ruth Peters
- Parenting on the Go by L. Tobin
- 10 Basic Principles of Good Parenting by Laurence Steinberg
Discipline is that part of parenting that we all wish we could avoid. No one wants to discipline their child, but it is a fact of parenting. By planning ahead and discussing what approach you will take with your partner you will be better prepared when faced with that first discipline challenge.
What approach do you take to discipline and what things have you found work best with your children?