Q:

What are some effective discipline methods?

A:

Quick Answer

Some effective discipline methods for children include the use of positive reinforcement, privilege withdrawal, time-outs and verbal instruction. Discipline methods should be age-appropriate to be effective, according to Dr. Phil.

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Full Answer

A parent or caregiver should focus more on good behavior as opposed to bad behavior, says Dr. Phil. Through parental attention and by praising a child’s good behavior, a parent can foster good behavior in a child, and such positive reinforcement should be specific, says KidsHealth.

To develop good judgment in a child, a parent should explain to a child what she wants the child to do and the natural or logical consequences of inaction or disobedience. Natural consequences are effective for children who do not heed their parents’ warnings about the outcome of bad behavior. Ensure you directly link logical consequences to the child’s behavior, suggests WebMD.

Children need to understand that with privilege, comes responsibility, and that they need to earn it. To be effective, parents should only withhold a child’s privilege infrequently, suggests Dr. Phil. Children value their privileges and taking them away tends to realign their behavior. The technique also works best if there is a link between the child’s behavior and the privilege withheld, says WebMD.

Set a time-out location in advance before using the method, which involves sending a child to a neutral area to allow her to settle down, according to WebMD. A time-out should last a few minutes and parents should use the method when a child understands the rationale behind it.

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