Do you feel like no matter what you do or say, you simply can’t get through to your kids when it comes to discipline? Dr. Phil offers these tips for how to discipline your children.
1. Commit Yourself
It's crucial that your child knows that you're going to do what you say you will. If you threaten a punishment and then don't act on it, you will have less (or no) credibility the next time. Make a commitment to your child's discipline, and be consistent in your behavior.
2. Be Realistic in Your Expectations of Your Child
Don't ask your child to do anything he cannot realistically do. If, for example, you’re expecting a 3-year-old to make his bed, your child may not be able to adhere to the request, and will only get frustrated — so much so that he will be less likely to listen to other requests as well.
3. Define Your Child's Currency
What does your child value? Perhaps it’s a toy, a particular activity, or a privilege like getting to stay up until a particular time. If you control the currency, you control the behavior that currency depends on. Once you understand what your child values, you can withdraw positive things (e.g., taking away the toy) or introduce negative things (e.g., early bedtime) as a form of discipline.
4. Give Your Children Predictable Consequences
It's important for your child to understand that the same result will come from the same behavior. Make your child feel like she has control over her life: If your child behaves a certain way, they will get a certain predictable consequence. If she can count on the rules and the consequences staying the same, she’s more likely to abide by them.
5. Use Child-Level Logic
Explain your values, limits or expectations in terms your child can understand. Take the time to explain the reasons behind why you are asking him to behave in certain ways. If your child understands the reasoning of your demands, he is more likely to acquiesce and can also apply that reasoning to other similar situations.