Principle #1. Be Unified. Do you and your spouse agree on discipline? Show your kids you’re unified. Agree with your spouse on how you will discipline your children—ahead of time.
Principle #2. Be Consistent. You can read all the books in the world and have dozens of great ideas, but if you’re not consistent they won’t work. I’ll admit it, being consistent is tough. Sometimes it’s easier to just let the kids get away with something rather than sticking to your plan. But consistency pays off in the long run. It helps our children know what to expect.
Principle #3. Be firm, not harsh. Some parents think that the only way to get children to obey is to be harsh…with angry words or a raised voice. Children will respond better to a firm, authoritative tone. Here’s how to be firm, not harsh. Look your child in the eye. Say it once in a calm, firm voice, and then be silent…wait for their response. If they don’t respond, then immediately discipline them without saying another word.
Principle #4. Discipline privately. Never discipline in public. Nothing is more humiliating and degrading to a child than disciplining them in the store or other public place. If your child misbehaves in public, let them know that they will be disciplined when they get home. Then, be sure to follow through.