When should a parent begin disciplining their children?
What's the best technique and effective ground rules laid at home?
Children can be disciplined with natural consequences. As they mature and request more independence and responsibility, teaching them to deal with the consequences of their behavior is an effective and appropriate method of discipline.
For instance, a fifth grader's homework isn't done before bedtime, should you make him or her stay up to do it or even lend a hand yourself? Probably not -- you'll miss the opportunity to teach a key life lesson. If homework is incomplete, your child will go to school the next day without it and suffer the resulting bad grade.
It's natural for parents to want to rescue kids from mistakes, but in the long run, they do kids a favor by letting them fail sometimes. Kids see what behaving improperly can mean and probably won't make mistakes again.
Be careful not to make unrealistic threats of punishment like, "Slam that door and you'll never watch TV again!", not following through could weaken all your threats. The same with you threatening to turn the car around and go home if the squabbling in the backseat doesn't stop. Be sure you do exactly that. The credibility you will gain with your kids is much more valuable than a lost beach day.
Set up rules regarding homework, visits by friends. curfews and dating and discuss them beforehand with your teenager so there will be no misunderstandings. Your teen will probably complain from time to time, but also will realize that you're in control.
When your teen does break a rule, taking away privileges may seem the best plan of action. Give a teenager some control over things. It will help your teen respect the decisions that you need to make. You could allow a younger teen to make decisions concerning clothes, hairstyles, or even the condition of his or her room.
Spanking as a way of discipline is 'No-No'! Why?
-- Spanking teaches kids that it's okay to hit when they're angry;
-- Spanking can physically harm children;
-- For kids seeking attention by acting out, spanking may inadvertently 'reward' them -- negative attention is better than no attention at all.
It is important to be consistent about discipline. If you don't stick to the rules and consequences, kids aren't likely either.