ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Discipline Children without Tears

Updated on June 16, 2016

Learning to be Self Disciplined


An Awesome Parent, an Awesome Child.

Parenting is an awesome responsibility. Remembering that awe is defined as: 'an overwhelming feeling of reverence, admiration or fear produced by that which is grand, sublime, extremely powerful' . in that sense, if anyone really had any idea how awesome (arousing fear) being a parent is, it may not be entered into as readily as it is. Most of us would recognize we are ill-equipped to be a parent. Yet, we do have children and we muddle through and luckily for our offspring, they survive all of our mistakes and misdirections.

When someone asks me about parenting, I continue to say...'it is awesome!!' and in so doing I am incorporating all of the innuendos that the word 'awe' suggests. There is nothing like being a parent or grandparent but it requires and asks much of the parents.

What qualifies me to espouse 'parenting tips' is that I Mothered my 8 nieces and nephews, have been a Mother to my own child, was a Parenting Specialist for a school system for three years during which time I walked in the moccasins of many parents from all walks of life. This taught me humility and gave me insight where I had none before about some topics.

In addition, I Mothered to an extent many many students over the years as a teacher of forty years. Receiving positive parenting advice gives us more ideas to consider and try.

We can all be awesome parents and use positive parenting effectively. Don't take yourself too seriously even though it is willing to laugh and lighten the tone when needed.

Parents who are afraid to put their foot down usually have children who step on their toes.

— Chinese Proverb

Kid friendly

the living room is the center activity and it is Baby friendly.
the living room is the center activity and it is Baby friendly. | Source

Open the Channels of Communication

Early on in your child's life, establish communication that lets your children know that you will be there and listen to whatever they have to tell you (without freaking out). If you can have that openness with your children even when some life shattering moment comes, your children will come to you. That does not mean that there won't be consequences or that you will not show displeasure but it does mean, you are a safe haven and will listen and counsel.

Without this openness, it is difficult to have truly effective positive parenting. It is important that the first time that your child comes to you and tells you something they have done that makes you want to scream and run out of the room that you do not react in a way that will signal to your child to stop talking.

If you start ranting and raving rather than listening, your child will no longer believe that they can trust that you will listen and not over-react. You do not want to be your child's best friend. But, you do want to be the person that is ready to listen and counsel. Again that does not mean you accept what has been shared with it and give it a nod of approval. It means you will listen and be ready to give a rational response. Sometimes we are so upset by what we hear that we do not have time to think it through and come up with a response that is appropriate.

You May Not Agree with Everything She Says...But Much of What She Says Works

Happy Face!!!


Follow Through

Be consistent. If you say something is to be done a certain way or that something is not allowed, then it should be ever thus! It is confusing to a child including teens for them to have a set of 'rules' that are flexible. If putting dishes in the sink or dishwasher is a nightly routine, then there should be no discussion on the topic. If doing homework before playing is the routine, then it is the routine.

Children like routine; they like for things to be predictable. That is not to say that once in a great while that routine cannot vary. It is most effective though if an established pattern is the general way of things in the home; it avoids uncertainty and confusion.

Being consistent is one 'law' you will be glad you follow.

Likewise, 'say what you mean, and mean what you say'. If you say, "If you do you chores without being reminded each day this week, we will go to the park on Saturday', then follow through. Making promises of things to come without following through is disappointing and leads to a break down in positive parenting.

I try not to use 'always' and 'never' too often but in this case it needs to be used. NEVER ever promise something, positive or negative that you know you will be unable to do. Now, sometimes emergencies occur and whatever was promised needs to be delayed but that should only happen in rare cases.

Choose Your Battles

Probably one of the most important things you can do is this one: pick your battles.

Decide what you absolutely will not tolerate, ever, under any circumstances.

Then let other less trivial issues become just that ~~~trivial.

You do not have to be right every time. You do not need to win every time.

And when you are wrong, admit it.

Think before you speak and act.

And remember you are human...and so are your precious children.

Rearrange Some...

This law is one that some consider controversial. And, I respect anyone's right to disagree. I did not do this when my child was a toddler but I do so wish I had. I learned later, much later, how much it would have improved things around our home.

If you have a toddler, invest in baby gates. This sounds like a no brainer. More than one is a great idea. You are not walling baby out of where you are; you are walling baby in to where you are and away from danger.

If you have a family room or living room or other area that is the center of activity in your home, make a corner in it just for your baby. Put up, out of reach, fragile objects and knick knacks that would be ever so interesting to Baby. This is where the controversy comes in to play. Some say, "Oh, no. I want my baby to learn not to touch things that are not meant to be played with." That is fine. You will find you are saying, 'no, no' more often than you wish. If you rearrange and put some things out of reach, then the area you are in is 'kid friendly' and makes for a much happier atmosphere for all.

Think like a child. Expect the unexpected. Children are not little adults. They are learning what their limits are, what you consider safe for them, but they are naturally curious and will do exactly what you least expect. If you keep this in the forefront of your mind, you will be one step ahead and avoid tantrums and even possible injury.

Be a child once n a while. Think about how what you say to your child would make you feel if it were being said to you. If the answer is 'horrid' then perhaps you are engaging in Negative Parenting rather than Positive.

You can be firm and discipline well without making your child feel horrible after you are finished chastising. Recognize the infraction, address it, express your displeasure, and administer the consequences. Do not do like I did at least a few times (or more) not save up all of the 'infractions' they have done, and, then when a new one occurs, dredge up all of the infractions from the time your children were old enough to be disciplined!

Baby is older now so his play area in the living room is more spacious...
Baby is older now so his play area in the living room is more spacious... | Source

A Few Laws

Laws of parenting (for the parent)

  • be consistent
  • be fair
  • be firm
  • 'say what you mean, mean what you say'
  • consider reorganizing your home to make it kid friendly
  • think like a child
  • 'be a child' (some days) so you can remember what it feels like
  • know that your children are watching what you do
  • when it is necessary to punish, do so immediately, tell the child why the punishment is occurring, and show your displeasure without making your child feel like the pits!
  • choose your battles carefully

If I had my child to raise all over again, I'd build self esteem first and the house later.

I'd finger paint more, and finger point less.

I would do less correcting and more connecting.

I'd take more hikes and fly more kites.

I'd stop playing serious, and (would) seriously play.I would run through more fields and gaze at more stars.

I'd do more hugging and less tugging.

— Diane Loomis

Single Positive Parent

Everything that is said here is for any parent. I was a single parent and so decision making about all issues was up to me. If you are a single parent, you are in the same situation. It was challenging at times but I listened to others and listened to how they approached different issues with their children, I read a lot, and finally used what worked for my life and the lives of those I was parenting.

Decide what is important

Choose your battles. Some things are worth holding your ground for...and this may sound contradictory. Let me back up a bit. Above I stated....if you say something, follow through on it. So in order to not back yourself in a corner, do not have so many 'rules' or 'must be dones' that the children have no out..

A good example is the whole 'keeping the room clean' thing. Unless it is necessary to go in with a bulldozer, close the door if the room is a mess. If things are crawling out under the door, then it is time to clean. Establish what you will and will not allow...a biggie is no dishes or food trashes left in the room to some. If that is a biggie to you, then address it.

Dr. Wayne Dyer who has written extensively on parenting issues suggests that many arguments can be avoided by closing bedroom doors. He makes a statement that encompasses so many areas of positive parenting.

"Conflict cannot survive without your participation.'

If you are looking for conflict, you probably always will find it. The opposite is also true. Again....choose your battles carefully.

As was stated at the onset, this is an awesome task...parenting in general, positive parenting specifically. It can be done and all will be better for it.

copyright 2011-2013 pstraubie48 TM All Rights Reserved


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 3 months ago from sunny Florida

      Mine too Peggy....we knew what our boundaries were...and if we chose to cross them we knew there would be consequences. I was raised in a warm loving home but was not allowed to run amuck as they say sometimes. Hope all is good with you and yours. Happy Thanksgiving Angels are on the way ps

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 3 months ago from Houston, Texas

      My parents were really good at this. They were strict but fair and most of all we felt safe and loved.

      From what you wrote, you have had lots of practice through the years guiding children (and their parents in that school setting) whether they were related to you or not. I am sure that many people are grateful to you for what you have done. Now you are sharing this learned advice with others. Kudos to you!

      Thinking of you as always with love and prayers.

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 2 years ago from sunny Florida

      I know, Susie. I was raised in a home where we loved each other. And when one of us did something wrong we were chastised but never made to feel horrible, you know?

      Thank you for stopping to visit. Angels are once again on the way to you ps

    • colorfulone profile image

      Susie Lehto 2 years ago from Minnesota

      This has cause so many wonderful memories of raising my kids. They turned out to be amazing adults that are very good friends to have in life now. Children so well with a loving home with godly principles. - Kudos!

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 3 years ago from sunny Florida

      We just have to use good judgment when trying to teach children the ins and outs of behavior. I always err on the side of positive. That does not mean I am a pushover (most of the time) but I do try to find a way to make correcting something other than punitive.

      Thank you for visiting again, Aufait Angels are on the way to you this evening. ps

    • Au fait profile image

      C E Clark 3 years ago from North Texas

      Good, sound advice for parents, especially new parents, impatient parents, short tempered parents, and parents who tend to be a little abusive.

      Remember, children are not miniature adults. Accidents happen to everyone and everyone makes mistakes sometimes.

      Be aware when a child is trying so hard to do something nice for you and it turns out all wrong. Try not to make it worse with punishment as the child most likely already feels terrible. In this case the effort going all wrong is usually sufficient punishment in itself.

      Voted up, UI, and sharing!

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 5 years ago from sunny Florida

      Kathleen...I know how you felt. When I was a new Mom I had so many questions. It was a learning curve for me as I learned what to do. Keep believing in yourself.

    • profile image

      Kathleen 5 years ago

      I am so glad to read this. Discipline is something I need help with as I am not always sure what to do. I am a first time mom and it is hard sometimes to know the right thing to do.

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 5 years ago from sunny Florida


      thank you for stopping by. I hope there is something here you or your family can find as useful. Parenting is tricky but all can survive it thorugh working together.

    • profile image

      Janie 5 years ago

      I baby sit my sister's children often. They are easy to take care of as a gerneral rule because their Mom is unafraid to be the MOM and not the 'best friend.' She has fun with her children but she has set the parameters and her children have learned to live by them, at least for now. I especially liked 'the laws' is hard to be consistent but it really pays off.

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 6 years ago from sunny Florida

      Thank you Margot for stopping by. Parenting especially keeping it positive especially when dealing with an issue that you have dealt with one hundred times before is tricky and requires super human patience. It is a juggling act and a lot of it does depend on choosing your battles.

    • profile image

      Margot 6 years ago

      These are some of the same tenchniques and stragegies my friends find work for them. Avoiding the negative and focusing on the positive is a 'good thing.' And closing doors to avoid arguments...that makes sense.

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 6 years ago from sunny Florida

      Thank you for stopping by....I learned the choosing the battles thing along the way...and as I was a single parent I suppose I had to be firmer than I became unafraid to put that foot down...sometimes both of them altough I was blessed...My daughter was a joy most days....

    • angela_michelle profile image

      Angela Michelle Schultz 6 years ago from United States

      I really like the Chinese Proverb, a parent who does not put their foot down, has children who step on their toes.

      Probably the best advice you gave was choose your battles carefully.

      Good advice, and cute kid!