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As a parent, it is your job to teach your child the difference between acceptable and unacceptable behavior. But getting your child to behave the way you want is not as hard as you think.

Discipline = Teaching Punishment = Penalty

Many parents think discipline and punishment are the same thing. However, they are quite different. Punishment is negative; an unpleasant consequence for doing or not doing something. Punishment should only be a very small part of discipline. Because learning takes time, especially for a young child, you may find that it takes several weeks of working on a behavior before you see a change. Try not to get frustrated when you don't see the results of your efforts right away.

Effective discipline should take place all the time, not just when children misbehave. Children are more likely to change their behavior when they feel encouraged and valued, not shamed and humiliated. When children feel good about themselves and cherish their relationship with their parents, they are more likely to listen and learn.


Physical Discipline

In order to learn successful ways of teaching children, there needs to be a basic understanding of physical discipline and how it can affect a child. Children in foster care have frequently come from dysfunctional families and often do not have a foundation of knowing “right” and “wrong”. The following are important to realize about physical discipline of foster children:

The messages that hitting a child can give are:

Discipline is guidance. When we guide children towards positive behavior and learning, we are promoting a healthy attitude. Positive guidance encourages a child to think before he acts. Positive guidance promotes self-control. Different styles of discipline produce results that are different. Discipline requires thought, planning, and patience.

How a parent teaches (disciplines) a child is a highly individualized choice. No two parents discipline in exactly the same way. One of the most important ideas to remember as a parent is “We are all different, and we all think that we are right.” The following are general attitudes of parents who are successful teachers (disciplinarians).


Tips to Avoid Trouble

The first thing to remember is to avoid power struggles whenever possible. Instead, address only those issues that are truly important to you. The following tips may help:


Discipline's Goals

Children are children because they are not yet skilled in decision-making. As parents, our goal is to impart those principals and skills that will provide the foundation for success as adults. We discipline our children so they may;

Discipline should not be viewed as a parent's reaction to a child's mistake. The process of discipline should be a positive, assertive role for the parent, promoting positive options before decisions are made, while increasing the child's sense of self-worth and self-confidence. Basically, a parent's job is to put themselves out of business. We do that most successfully when we:


Tips to Make Discipline More Effective

Kids are not perfect-teaching requires patience. Kids don't always get things right the first time. Once the child knows what to do, we must shift from patience to determination. Have realistic expectations-know what your child is capable of understanding and don't expect them to do something they can't.