What age to discipline a child? | Using parenting skills to be a better parent

Hi We received a question this week about when is it appropriate to discipline a child or what age should you discipline a child? Now for Smarter Parenting, and the way that we look at things, disciplining is one of those things that you do after a behavior happens

And for us, our belief is that it's best to address issues as they happen, but also, if you can prepare for them before they happen that actually is better And so discipline itself is one of those areas where parents want to address a very specific thing at a very specific time For us we want to focus on teaching So teaching is something that spans all time, and it just happens all the time, and in every situation, and as things pop up, you're constantly teaching So if you were to ask me the question, "When is it appropriate to begin teaching your child?" I would say, "As soon as they're born you can start teaching them different skills based on their developmental abilities and what they're able to do and you can continue to teach

" If you're gonna ask me, "When to discipline?" Then what you're really asking me is, "When should I apply certain consequences for certain behaviors?" And that's a whole different ballgame So Effective Consequences and working through that is a skill that's on the Smarter Parenting website (COMING FALL 2018) and should help you determine what you should do when something happens Correcting Behaviors is also another skill that is tied in with this whole idea of disciplining your child Our approach again is about teaching and teaching happens all the time Anytime you're interacting with your child, you are teaching

You're teaching something You're modeling something And so this idea that we're just going to focus on these moments and these moments are going to define the child's character through time is misguided And the reason it's misguided is because amid that, your child is actually learning additional things So my suggestion is to approach everything from a teaching standpoint and not from a discipline standpoint

Now that may sound counterproductive to a lot of parents and they may think, "Well, I need a discipline" Yeah you do need to discipline, but if you are constantly in the mode of thinking, "Okay everything I'm doing is teaching this child something" then you're actually addressing problems before they arise And you're in this mindset of when something does happen that you can make corrections and it's a lot easier to do So remember you may think that parent, a lot of time parents think that, "I'm going to give a consequence that they're going to learn from this consequence" The reality is kids learn from different experiences and you cannot decide what they're gonna learn from and what they're not gonna learn from

So be in that teaching mindset, "I'm always teaching I'm always there to teach them something" And as discipline pops up, because those are occasional things, then you address them that way That's how I would answer that question, "When is it appropriate to discipline your child?" It's appropriate to discipline your child when those arise, but really, parents who are more successful are in a teaching mode and they're constantly teaching their children, alright So that's it for us this week

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