Kids and discipline: Tips that really work

November 1, 2007 12:00:00 AM PDT
Do you feel like enough is enough when it comes to disciplining your child? Rona Renner is back with tips on how to get them to behave.

Do you feel like "enough is enough" when it comes to disciplining your child? Nurse Rona Renner, host of "Childhood Matters," a radio talk show on 98.1 KISS FM shared some tips to help get kids to behave.

"Childhood Matters" radio show airs: Sundays at 9 AM on 98.1 KISS FM.

Discipline Tips:

For infants

  • Provide love, protection, and guidance.
  • Distract them from things that are off limits.
  • Provide a safe environment.
  • Set limits in a calm and clear manner.

  • Infants need to learn about themselves and the world around them. Providing a safe, secure, and loving environment will help them develop trust in you.

    For toddlers

  • Take a Proactive Approach: Don't just put out fires. Instead, think about what kind of action or attitude would work best-considering the child's temperament, age, development, and your style.
  • Plan ahead; back up your words with actions. You've decided ahead of time that if he doesn't stop banging, you will take the cup away.
  • Experiment! Maybe a very active child who won't sit for snack can help serve the food, sit for a short time, and then come back to the table later when he/she's hungry.
  • Have routines and structure. When are you having the most trouble? If there is chaos in the morning, perhaps you don't have enough of a routine. Naptime rituals will often prevent naptime battles.
  • Express clear expectations-say what you mean and mean what you say. "Please get dressed now. If you're not dressed you'll go to daycare in your P.J.'s."
  • Make eye contact instead of calling from afar.
  • Practice staying calm. A controlled emotional response will be most effective. Teach Acceptable Behavior: You teach children with both your words and actions. It takes more time to discipline than to punish, but it's well worth it. A child will eventually learn self-discipline.
  • Give alternatives. "You can't throw sand, but you can pour it from the pail or dig in it."
  • Be consistent, and repeat what you expect as often as necessary. If the rules keep changing, children will test them to see where the limits are.
  • Include children in problem solving when they are old enough.
  • Have children repeat agreements back to you.
  • Encourage: Children want to be liked-and encouraging remarks and actions will let them know they are. "I like the way you put the plate in the sink, thank you."
  • Notice the efforts the children are making, tell them they're doing a good job.
  • Expect success.
  • Point out positive qualities.
  • Stop on a high note when teaching something new, before the child gets too frustrated.
  • Get support from other adults for the very difficult and important job you are doing.
  • Tweens & Teens:

  • Talk with them about the rules when you're not angry.
  • Don't get into arguing, and sick to reasonable consequences.
  • If you take privileges away, do it for a short period of time.
  • Encourage good behavior with attention and love.
  • Web site:

    About Rona Renner, RN:
    Rona Renner, RN has been a nurse for over 40 years, and is a temperament specialist and parent educator. She is the Executive Director of Interactive Parenting Media, and the host of Childhood Matters Radio show which airs Sundays at 9AM on 98.1 KISS FM.