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5 Parenting Tips ~ How to Discipline Kids Effectively

By Jean Tracy, MSS

Do you regret the things you say when disciplining your kids? Do you wish you could take back your words? Do you hope your kids will forget what you said? Inside you'll find some parenting advice for disciplining "just right."

Parenting Quote:

"The best way to keep children at home is to make the home atmosphere pleasant – and let the air out of their tires." – Dorothy Parker

When I dreamt of raising a happy family, I didn't dream of disciplining. Yet discipline is crucial to parenting well. And I had to learn not to let the air out of my kids' self esteem.

Parenting Story:

Imagine a mom coming to counseling about her 8-year-old daughter.

Mother: "I do my best," she says. "I try not to hit but she never listens."

"How else do you discipline her?"

Mother: "I yell to get her attention. Sometimes I scream."

"How do you feel about hitting and screaming?"

Mother: "I'm ashamed but I don't know what else to do. She doesn't respect me. She's just a difficult child."

This mother copied the way she was disciplined as a child. It kept her in line when she was young but it wasn't working with her own daughter.

Effective and Respectful Child Discipline Has No Regrets:

Yelling dreadful things like, "I hate you! You're so stupid! You can't do anything right!" is more deflating to our kids' self-esteem than letting the air out of a tire.

Let's say your child forgot to feed the dog, didn't do his homework, stole money from your purse, hurt a neighbor kid, or something else. You've been yelling at him since he was a toddler. It isn't working. What can you do?

Head for the bathroom. It's time to practice the parenting sounds, the parenting words, and the parenting look together. Lock the door and turn on the fan. Keep your practice sessions to yourself. You are about to practice how to discipline effectively without regrets.

5 Effective Parenting Tips for Sounding and Looking Like the Parent:

Your goal as the parent is to look in the mirror and practice the look, the words and the sounds with which to discipline effectively. You'll want to remove sighs, anger, and exasperation from your voice too.

1. Think before you speak.

2. Consider the best way to say things so you'll end up feeling good about the way you handled your frustration.

3. Practice speaking with kind, controlled, serious, and authoritative tones.

This will help you feel good about yourself. You'll sound like the parent too.

4. Avoid lecturing by keeping it short and simple.

Say just enough and no more.

5. Practice the kind and serious look, with the voice, and the words while imagining handling yourself well.

If your tone, your words, and your look are well balanced, then your discipline will be too. Remember, if you're replacing poor discipline habits with these new parenting skills, it will take practice.

Conclusion for Disciplining Kids Effectively:

By employing the above parenting tips, you won't be letting the air out of your child's self-esteem. You won't be ashamed. You'll become the parent. Your child will respect you. You'll be building character too.


Take a look at Discipline Tips for Parents with specific solutions for difficult behaviors. If you do, you'll get step by step details on how to discipline "just right. You'll get the love and respect you deserve too.

I invite you to receive 80 Fun Activities to share with your kids and a FREE Parenting Newsletter. - from the desk of Jean Tracy, MSS

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