According to HealthyChildren.org, there are several ways to appropriately discipline a child, such as time out, taking away privileges and showing the child that there are consequences to her actions. One of the key components of successful discipline is being consistent with rules and consequences.
Children in different age groups require different types of discipline. For example, toddlers tend to respond to and understand time out as a punishment. When a toddler acts out, Kids Health recommends telling her why her behavior is wrong and then placing the child in a designated time out area.
As children get older, they become more aware of actions and consequences. The first time a child does something bad, it is important to discuss with the child why that specific behavior is wrong and enforce a consequence. For example, if a child breaks a toy on purpose, explain why that behavior is wrong and take the toys away for the day so that she understands it is wrong to break toys.
Children in older age ranges often learn through natural consequences. As children grow, they begin to understand that every action has a consequence. While it is important for parents to provide consequences to younger children, it is equally important for parents to allow older children to fail and learn about natural consequences. Teenagers tend to respond to disciplinary actions such as taking away privileges and having open discussions regarding bad behavior.