Parenting and Discipline: The 1-Sentence Discipline
The 1-Sentence Discipline
By Sharon Scott, LPC, LMFT
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We’ve previously discussed that holding children accountable for their actions will help them resist negative peer pressure. Your consistency in disciplining them, when necessary, will give them the needed strength to turn down trouble invitations.
Threats (“You’re going to get in trouble.”), nagging (“I’m tired of you not minding me.”), lectures (“You know better.”), scolding (“Shame on you.”), bribing (“You won’t get in trouble if you tell me the truth.”), or comparing (“Your sister knows better than to do this.”) do not change behavior. These statements do, however, damage kid’s self-esteem.
When your children do something wrong that is serious or a repeat misbehavior, then a consequence is generally warranted. Last month we discussed some discipline ideas. Once you’ve decided on a consequence that ‘matches’ the severity of the misbehavior, state it to the child in one sentence: “Since you did (misbehavior), then your consequence is (list what privilege(s) will be lost) for (# of minutes, hours, or days)”.
If multiple siblings are involved, tell this to each individually. There is no need for further discussion unless your children are young and you need to explain why they shouldn’t have done the misbehavior. Lectures are usually counter productive and also give children an opportunity to debate you or beg for leniency. Arguments will then ensue.
Let the loss of the privilege(s) be the discipline tool’not your mouth! Follow through and consistency are the keys to having your children respect your rules as well as those of society.
Copyright ©2018, Sharon Scott. No reproduction without written permission from author. Excerpted in part from Sharon’s classic parent guide: Peer Pressure Reversal: An Adult Guide to Developing a Responsible Child, 2nd Ed.
The guide for parents/educators on how to peer-proof children and teens is Peer Pressure Reversal: An Adult Guide to Developing a Responsible Child, 2nd Ed.
Her popular book for teens, How to Say No and Keep Your Friends, 2nd Ed., empowers kids to stand out,not just fit in!
A follow-up book for teens, When to Say Yes! And Make More Friends, shows adolescents how to select and meet quality friends and, in general, feel good for doing and being good.
Sharon also has a charming series of five books for elementary-age children each teaching an important living skill and "co-authored" with her savvy cocker spaniel Nicholas who makes the learning fun.Their book on managing elementary-age peer pressure is titled Too Smart for Trouble.
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