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Occasionally when our child misbehaves, we overreact. Perhaps it is we are in a bad mood or perhaps our child has been pushing our buttons and has finally pushed the right one. Parents occasionally lose their cool.

There is nothing we can do when we've reached our limit. We can't stop it from happening. But we can control our response.

Three Easy Discipline Techniques That Will Change Your Child's Behavior

We learned how to discipline by remembering how our parents disciplined us. If they made mistakes, we will probably make the same mistakes. Discipline is not punishment. Discipline is "Training expected to produce a specific character or pattern of behavior, especially training that produces moral or mental improvement." (

Child discipline often fails because parents lack parenting techniques that will train their children without punishment. These three techniques will help you discipline without punishment. You will notice a fast change in your child's behavior and his attitude towards you when you change your discipline technique.

Parenting Technique One -Stay calm

When your child misbehaves, stay calm. Don't yell or scream. Don't throw your hands up and act like it's the end of the world. Calmly tell the child what he is doing wrong and tell him what behavior you expect. Like this:

"I do not like hearing children screaming in the store. I expect you to be quiet until we leave. If you don't, we will leave the store right now and go straight home where you will spend time in your room thinking about how to act in the store."

"There are a lot of people eating in this restaurant who do not like hearing children scream. I expect you to be quiet until we leave. If you don't, you and I will go sit in the car while the rest of the family finishes their meal."

You will need to get your child's attention before he can process what you are saying. When my son was screaming in a restaurant, I picked him up and carried him to the bathroom where  I knelt on the floor and calmly told him what he was doing wrong, what I expected, and what would happen if he continued. I then said, "It's YOUR choice. What do you want to do? Sit in the car or finish our meal?"

He chose to finish the meal and was a perfect child throughout the rest of the meal. As we were leaving the restaurant, several people stopped us to either tell me what a good parent I was - or to tell him what a good boy he was. We both felt great hearing all the compliments. Remember to stay calm!

Parenting Technique Two - Steer clear of negatives

Try pointing out the good things they do, but go easy on pointing out the bad things. Children love attention. If they don't get good attention, they will be satisfied with bad attention. So, when they do something good, praise them - and when they do something bad, don't give them the attention (unless it endangers the child).

Never combine praise with a negative.

"You look good in that dress, but stand up straight. You look like a monkey."

"You won the race! Good for you! I can't believe you didn't trip over your pigeon toes."

Both these examples tell the child "no matter how well you do, you will never be quite good enough."

Parenting Technique Three - Be careful with 'threats'

I have a friend who I love dearly, but hate spending time with. Her five year old rules the world with his tantrums. She constantly threatens to "beat him", but it only makes him worse.

He knows two things.
1) She can threaten all she wants, but she never follows through.
2) If he throws a fit long enough and hard enough, he always gets what he wants (and usually doesn't really want it)

This five year old does listen to me. I have taken him out of a restaurant to wait in the car. It only took one time of following through on my threat before he understood that when I "threaten", I will follow through. Now when we go out to eat, he may test - and his mother threatens to beat him, but all I have to do is give him "the look", and tell him that I will take him to the car, and he calms right down and is quiet.

So, make a promise rather than a threat. And be prepared to follow through on the promise. You may not like leaving the restaurant to sit in the car with a screaming kid, but it will only take once or twice before your child knows that you mean what you say and say what you mean. Isn't it worth doing once or twice to ensure there are no more problems?

Putting it all together

It is normal for children to test boundaries, but if you are consistent, your child will soon understand that your boundaries are firm and will not test them as often. One parenting mistake that can slip by us without notice is the use of negatives. Just don't do it. And, finally, stop the threats unless you plan on following through. Your child will earn to ignore you.

Be consistent and you will notice a fast change.




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