How do I maintain consistency in discipline?

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Child punishment

How do I maintain consistency in my discipline?

How do I respond to disobedience or behavior issues?

The key to maintaining consistency in discipline is maintaining consistencies in everyday activities. Talking with your children and spending quality time with them will help you build a relationship with your child.  A wonderful parenting principle I learned at a conference was, “Rules without a relationship will always lead to rebellion.” Isn’t it so true that when you have a healthy relationship with your child, spouse, boss, or others that you have an open forum to communicate together.

Create a Rhythm
As I observe my five children, I have learned that when schedules get busy and life  is just about doing one activity after another, we have more arguments. Stay in tuned with your families schedules. Being a good parent could mean that everyone takes a season off from activities and focuses on each other and creating an environment that encourages good behavior.

Here are some action steps you can take:

  • Play a game and talk about being a good friend and responding to others when they aren’t nice.
  • Take time to cook dinner together and talk about how school is going.
    • Talk about the ups and downs of the school day.
    • What are your most enjoyable classes? Why?
    • When do you have the hardest time listening? Why?

Fight for the Heart
Having a relationship will be so helpful when you try to make a consistent discipline plan and it will help you respond when there are behavior issues. My 7 year old came home with a bad report from school and I was so disappointed. I read what his teacher wrote and then asked him how he felt about that week. I have to say, I needed some time to process through what needed to be done.

So, I called my husband and we decided as a team how to respond. We knew that he hadn’t responded well during reading groups based on the note and had noticed that he wasn’t very confident when reading at home. After talking with him, we realized that reading was a big frustration for him, so we made a plan. He was punished for his behavior because that is never an acceptable way to respond. Then, we made sure that we took extra time reading with him daily. This not only helped him the next week at school, but he was excited about the plan.

Here are some action steps you can take:

  • When you encounter a discipline issue, sit down and make a plan
  • If you’re married, be consistent by agreeing on a plan together
  • Share that plan with your child.
    • Let them know what they are expected to do
    • Let them know what they can expect from you
    • Remind them that you are a team and your goal is to help them win

Parenting is such a hard job, because you can never have all the answers. Seeking God and asking for wisdom, praying for your children, and building relationships with them is our key for success. We are far from figuring it all out, but definitely have figured a formula that helps.

Take time to know your children. Knowing what they enjoy and how they respond to life challenges will help you teach and direct them. Remember sometimes you have to change your discipline plan as they change. What worked last year may not still work today. We can only do it with the help of our Lord. Learn to seek and lean on Him and He will help direct your steps.

Hope Hall is an amazing mom of 5 and Elementary fpKIDS Coordinator at our Blount Campus.