When figuring out how to discipline a child, choosing the consequences is very important. When I was growing up, my dad spanked me a couple of times, and I kind of got the message through that. Then, as I got older, he came up with a different punishment that may seem a little strange. When I became more active and started playing sports, he made me sit down on the couch, watch TV, and not move until he told me. For me, that was the worst thing in the world; I was squirming because I wanted to be outside with my friends. I wanted to be active, and sitting in front of the television was punishment.
In this day and age, that probably would not be an effective punishment. So I need to think about other things for my kids. Here are the strategies I normally use.
Taking Away ElectronicsA consequence needs to impact your kids and give them something to think about.
For most of my kids, unfortunately, taking away their electronics—no iPad, no video games—is the worst thing I can do. It’s especially painful for my boys.
Taking Away Something Else That Hurts
A consequence needs to impact your kids and give them something to think about the next time they have a choice to make about how to behave. That’s what it really comes down to: thinking of something that affects them in a way they don’t want to be affected. They’ll think, “Gosh, I don’t want to lose this privilege, so I’ll think before I act.” You need to know how each child thinks and operates to know what’s going to make that light bulb go off in his or her head. That’s how we handle it in our house.
Sound off: Do you know how to discipline a child in the best way? What has worked for you?
Huddle up with your kids and ask, “What would be the hardest possession for you to lose in your life?”