7 child discipline problems parents face and tips on how to solve them!

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Even the best of us make these mistakes when disciplining our kids. Read this list of 7 child discipline problems and get tips on how to solve them!

Dealing with child discipline problems can be exasperating! As hard as we try to be gentle in dealing with them, sometimes we throw our hands up in the air and commit one of the following mistakes when dealing with child discipline problems!

Go through our list of 7 disciplining mistakes and you’re bound to come across something you’re guilty of! Don’t worry though, with each mistake mentioned, there are tips on how you can avoid repeating them.

7 Common child discipline problems

1. Losing your temper

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Losing your cool can yield irreversible results. First yelling and then worse - spanking. Once you’ve gone down that road, you can’t go back. You’ve conveyed to your kids that it is ok to get angry and say and do hurtful things. They may also start yelling back at you, and even worse, hitting you to convey their frustration.

The alternative: time outs aren’t just for kids. If you feel your temper rising, take a minute and walk away. Regain your calm and use reason to talk to your kid. Kids actually react better to calm requests than demands.

2. Negative commands

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Do you often find yourself barking orders such as, "don’t do this!" or "stop doing that!"? If you do, then it’s high time you give it a rest.

The alternative: Avoid using negative language, and save the ‘NO’ for truly dangerous situations (e.g. if they stick their fingers in an electrical socket). Explain why they shouldn’t do what you’re asking them not to do, so that they better understand things. For instance, if your kid grabs his sister by her hair, instead of yelling, say, "Look, you are hurting your sister and it’s making her sad". Also use positive parenting by praising them if they listen to you.

3. We don’t play by the rules

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We set rules we can’t keep up with. For instance we tell our kids not to be disrespectful of others. Yet we get mad at a family member and yell at them in front of our kids. This gives them the message that rules can be bent and broken.

The alternative: it is very difficult to keep our emotions in check all the time. So if our emotions get the better of us and we slip-up, apologize. If your kid points out your slip-up, don’t be arrogant and tell them to mind their own business. Acknowledge that they are right and apologize.

4. Using bribery

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We all resort to this! Kids do what we ask of them only because they get something in return. Absolutely no lesson is learnt in the process. They expect to be rewarded every time they do something good.

The alternative: Instead of bribing for good behavior, experts say that reinforcing good behavior is more effective. So instead of saying ‘if you are good at the supermarket today, I will buy you candy’, try ‘I’m so proud of how you behaved at the supermarket today. You were a very good girl’. Similarly, if your child didn’t behave well, say, ‘The way you behaved at the supermarket today made me sad’. It may seem a bit harsh, but this helps develop your child’s conscience.

5. Inconsistent discipline

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You have asked your kid to get off the computer and she ignores you and keeps playing games. So out come the threats ‘If you don’t get off the computer by the time I get there, no TV for the rest of the week’ and so on. Then she continues on the computer and you are compelled to switch it off yourself. You forget the initial threat of no TV for a week.

The alternative: don’t make promises you can’t keep. In this case – threats. Set limits and follow through. Be straightforward with rules you make. No negotiations. If she acts upon your request, then thank her for doing so.

6. Setting your expectations too high

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Take the earlier example of the kid in the supermarket. Is expecting him to sit in the shopping cart and not ask for anything expecting too much? Setting expectations too high is another one of those child discipline problems that all parents can sometimes make.

The alternative: experts say that very young kids are not wired to automatically know social norms. The kid sees colourfully packaged candy and instinctively wants it. The easy option would be to not take him to the supermarket again. But then again, that wouldn’t teach him to behave well at a supermarket. Expect to gently remind him quite a few times before he behaves in the way you expect him to and when he does, praise his good behavior.

7. One method of discipline doesn’t suit every child

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Giving your daughter a time-out for bad behavior has been working well, but your son just doesn't respond well to time-outs. He just can’t sit still. What do you do?

The alternative: analyze your child’s personality well before doling out punishment. What works for your daughter may not work for your son. Apart from this, different ages require different methods of discipline. You cannot expect an 18 month old to respond to time-out the same way a 4 year old will.

READ: Dad and mom discipline: Is there a difference in raising your child?

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