Parenting Tips



Parenting Tips: Disciplining young children is a challenging and frustrating experience. Here is an outline of techniques from our Nurturing Parenting Community Based Education program to provide some guidance on effective discipline:

Loss of Privilege

  • A privilege is a right granted by a parent.
    Privileges are things such as watching TV,
    playing with a toy, or riding a bike. If a child
    misuses an object or misuses a privilege, they lose
    it for awhile. Parents should take away a toy or
    privilege only when the child misuses it; for
    example, throwing or breaking a toy, or riding a
    bike out into the street.



  • When a child repeatedly does a behavior a
    parent does not approve of, such as repeatedly leaving the yard, an appropriate punishment is being
    grounded to the yard or house. The child must
    learn that leaving the yard is not appropriate. If the
    child does not understand that the behavior was
    inappropriate, grounding will not work as a punishment.
    It is very important for children to
    know what is expected of them. Groundings
    should never be longer than one week. Instead,
    ground only for a day or two, then give children
    another chance to follow the rules.


Parental Disappointment

  • Parental disappointment is a simple statement
    that expresses the disappointment a parent
    has in a behavior the child has chosen to perform.
    The intent of parental disappointment is to build
    some caring and an awareness in the child of the
    parent’s disappointment. For example, “Son, I
    want you to know how disappointed I am that you
    chose to hit your brother. I hope that next time you
    are upset, you won’t hit your brother and you will
    tell him not to take away your toys.” If the behavior
    is reoccurring, a parent may also tell the child
    he or she either loses a privilege or has to take a
    time out.


  • Restitution means that there is a “payback” or
    logical consequence for a specific misbehavior.
    The goal of restitution is to make good of a wrong.
    If children choose to color on the walls, the
    payback then is to clean the wall. If stealing is the
    problem, the restitution is to pay back the stolen


  • Ignoring is a way parents communicate their
    disapproval of certain behaviors, by deliberately
    not paying attention in words or actions to undesirable
    behaviors whenever they occur. Not paying
    attention means absolutely no acknowledgement in
    any manner that the behavior is present.
  • By paying attention to the undesirable behavior,
    parents are actually encouraging children to
    continue to perform the behavior.
  • Parents should praise behaviors they want to increase
    and ignore the behaviors they want decreased.
    Ignoring is most appropriate for annoying
    behaviors that are harmless. Examples of behaviors
    appropriate to ignore are when children make
    faces or noises, whine, or throw temper tantrums.
  • Behaviors a parent should never ignore are
    behaviors that are harmful to the child or others
    (hitting pets, hitting self), any behavior that
    increases the risk of physical harm to the child or
    other children (playing with matches, playing with
    electrical sockets), and any behavior that will
    cause damage to property (writing on walls,

Verbal and Physical Redirection

  • Redirection is a technique to help children
    learn to do good things. There are two types of
    redirection: verbal and physical. Verbal redirection tells children what is acceptable
    and what is not acceptable. Physical redirection
    removes children from dangerous activities and
    substitutes more appropriate activities. Verbal and
    physical redirection work best when used together.


Time Out

  • Time out is a temporary isolation of the child
    from others because they chose to act inappropriately.
    It is a technique that lets children know that
    when they choose to behave inappropriately, they
    have to be by themselves for awhile sitting quietly.
  • Time out space for the child should be boring and
    in a safe, well-lit area where the parent can see the
    child. Time out should never be in a room alone,
    in a basement, or in a closet.
  •  A good rule of thumb is that children should
    sit in time out no more than one minute per each
    year of life. For example, 3 year old = three minutes.
    Parents can use a kitchen timer so they do not
    forget the child in time out. After time out, parents
    should discuss the misbehavior with the child.
    Time out should never be used with children under
    the age of two years.


Some additional tips for regulating behavior are listed below:

  1. Let your child know ahead of time when he/she is expected to do something.
  2. When children misbehave, suggest a new activity.
  3. Be patient. No one said parenting was easy!
  4. Praise behaviors you like and ignore behaviors you don’t like whenever your can and it is safe to do so.
  5. Try to structure you child’s day so that meal time and bedtimes are the same every day.
  6. Tell, don’t ask. Tell your children what you want them to do.
  7. Give your child a set amount of warnings about misbehavior in a calm but firm voice.
  8. After the warning limit, follow through with a short consequence like a time out. Try to use consequences that are related to the behavior.
  9. Offer choices. Making choices is an important part of growing up.
  10. A child who is rewarded and praised usually develops a happy and cooperative attitude. A child who is punished frequently often becomes angry and stops caring about the punishments and others.
  11. Remember to set a good example. Children learn by watching.

Remember, good effective parenting  is teaching…its one way to show love to your children!
If you would like more information on parenting, contact us for more information.

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