5 Steps to Determining the Best Way to Discipline Your Child

Find Discipline Strategies That Work For Your Family

Discover how to discipline your child by learning about various behavior management strategies.
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When it comes to understanding how to discipline your child, there's no single right way to do it.There are plenty of ways to raise a happy child who turns into a responsible adult.

There are lots of different opinions about which discipline approach is more effective or what impact certain types of discipline will have on kids, so you should definitely do your homework. However, in the end, your quest to find the best discipline practices should be about finding the discipline techniques that will work best for your family.

1. Consider Your Child’s Temperament

When looking for the best discipline strategy, consider your child’s unique temperament. Your child’s abilities, weaknesses, and personality should all be taken into consideration. For example, a firm redirection may be an effective consequence for a sensitive child, but a strong-willed child may not be phased unless she loses her privileges.

2. Take Your Temperament Into Account

Of course, a parent’s temperament should also be taken into consideration. If you attempt to use discipline techniques that go against your personality, it isn’t likely to work out in the long run. Compare how your temperament matches up with your child’s and look for strategies that will compliment both of you.

When deciding how to discipline your child, consider your partner’s temperament as well. If you’re laid back and your partner’s wound like a top, it’ll be important to find a discipline strategy that will work well for both of you.

It's important to work together as a team.

3. Identify Your Parenting Style

There are four main types of parenting styles; authoritarian, authoritative, uninvolved, and permissive. Identify which style you gravitate toward naturally. Evaluate the pros and cons of your parenting style and determine if there are any changes you want to make to your approach to discipline.

4. Educate Yourself on the Five Types of Discipline

There are five basic types of discipline; positive discipline, gentle discipline, boundary-based discipline, behavior modification, and emotion coaching. There certainly are several subtypes and they are called by other names sometimes in various books or publications. However, these five are the basic types that are most commonly used today.

Identify which discipline strategies you use and think about which ones are most effective with your child. A combination of several types of discipline may be most effective in managing your child's behavior.

5. Experiment with Various Discipline Strategies

Your child’s discipline needs will change over time depending on his maturity level and life circumstances. A discipline strategy that works now, might not work next year. That’s why it’s important to have a toolbox filled with discipline tools so you’re always ready with an alternative strategy.

Try using a specific discipline strategy or type of discipline and see how it goes. Keep in mind that just because you’re child’s behavior gets worse initially, it doesn’t mean the discipline strategy isn’t effective. Sometimes behaviors get worse before they get better as kids react to new rules and new limits.

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