Ten Guidelines for Raising a Well Behaved Child

Does discipline have you down? Take heart, and read these tips that really work!–Discipline is one of the greatest challenges we face as parents. While it’s never effortless, discipline can become manageable if you follow these basic guidelines from the Center for Effective Discipline:–Whenever possible, teach rather than punish. The goal of discipline is to teach children acceptable behavior. Hitting children does not teach acceptable behavior. It teaches children that “might makes right” and hitting is a way to solve problems.–View children’s misbehavior as a mistake in judgment. It will be easier to think of ways to teach more acceptable behavior.

–Whenever possible, make consequences relate to misbehavior. If a child makes a mess, he/she should clean it up.

–Have behavior rules but make sure they are few in number, reasonable, and appropriate to the child’s age and development.

–Make sure that consequences for misbehavior are reasonable and clear.

–Don’t argue or nag children about rules. If a rule is broken, remind the child of the rule and the consequence for not following the rule. When you give a command, speak in a firm voice and repeat the command.

–If your child has many behaviors which concern you, don’t try to change all of them at once. Choose one behavior of concern. Explain why the behavior is a problem, provide consequences for misbehavior and praise the behavior opposite of the misbehavior when your child demonstrates it.

–Distract infants and toddlers when they are doing something you don’t like or remove them from the situation. Infants and toddlers do not understand right and wrong and should not be hit or shaken.

–Be a good model for your children in your speech and actions.

–Catch your child being good! Your praise will increase appropriate behavior. A hug, smile and soft words can also show approval.

Source: Excerpted with permission from the Web site of the Center for Effective Discipline (www.stophitting.com)