Practice positive discipline by making clear, consistent rules and by focusing on rewarding good behavior rather than punishing bad behavior. This teaches a child how he should act, rather than teaching him how he should not act. When he does misbehave, think about the causes for his behavior first. Redirect him to a different behavior or activity instead of simply saying "no" or "stop."Continue Reading
A child can't be expected to follow rules he doesn't know exist. Create a list of some very basic rules that are age appropriate. A 3-year-old can't be expected to work out disagreements with siblings or friends, but he can be expected to keep his hands to himself and ask an adult for help.
Once he knows the rules, reward him for following them. Say things like "Thank you for putting your clothes in the hamper" and "You were frustrated with that toy, good job taking a deep breath to calm down." When he starts to get upset and a tantrum seems imminent, distract him with a different activity.
Before doling out a punishment such as a time-out, consider the cause of a child's negative behavior. Perhaps he threw a fit because he was overly tired or in an effort to get a parent's attention. Let him experience the negative results of his actions; if he breaks a toy in a tantrum, for instance, show him that it has be thrown away now.
A time-out, lasting one minute per year of the child's age, is appropriate when he is hitting, kicking or otherwise endangering himself or others.Learn more about Parenting