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Ep. 23 - How Do I Know When to Correct My Kid?

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This is the All Pro Dad podcast, where in each episode, dads of all ages dive into just one question. Today, we ask, “How do I know when to correct my kid?”

Deciding between addressing kids’ mistakes in the moment or waiting for a better time in the future is a delicate balance. Knowing when to discipline a child is crucial and can impact the father-child relationship tremendously. How do we find the sweet spot? Veteran dads Ted Lowe, Bobby Lewis, and Buck Buchanan weigh the options in today’s episode.

We want kids to develop problem-solving skills and resilience, but watching them struggle can be tough! This may be a confusing question for dads. Here are a few questions to consider before you jump to correct your child:

  1. 1. Should I say this?

This one question can be a game-changer. Kids are constantly doing and saying illogical things. Weigh the pros and cons of speaking in the moment. Pausing before sharing begins the process of choosing the best response.

  1. 2. Should I say this now?

If you do decide to speak, considering when to get vocal is the next key step. Is your child operating in his or her emotional or logical side of the brain? You want your kids to hear you, so think about how your words will be received in the moment.

  1. 3. What should I say?

Our automatic words to our kids are not always the best ones. When we take time to consider what we should say, it increases the odds of saying what we need to say versus what our frustrations want to say. Thinking through your words also gives us time to seek wisdom from others. Often, using fewer words is better.

  1. 4. How should I follow up?

If your initial conversation went well, great. If it didn’t, waiting until everybody has calmed down to follow up is usually best.

 Today’s Pro Move: Choose one of the following and apply it this week:

  1. 1. Should I say this?
    2. Should I say it now?
  2. 3. What should I say?
  3. 4. How should I follow up?

Other resources

4 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Instructing Your Teenager

Knowing when to discipline a child is tough to learn on your own. Join nearly 200,000 other dads by subscribing to the All Pro Dad Play of the Day. Get daily fatherhood ideas, insight, and inspiration sent straight to your inbox.