7 Key Points to Teaching Discipline

7 Key Points to Teaching Discipline

Last update: 02 February, 2018

As parents, we should be aware that there are keys to teaching discipline. Of course, not all children are the same and we may not be able to apply every recommendation we hear. However, all advice is useful, worthy of reflection and open to interpretation.

It is well known that childhood is a complicated stage in which each individual develops both physically and mentally. Childhood also forges personality, good habits, and behavior.

As parents we have the challenge of promoting the optimal development of our children. We must balance our relationship with them, and raise a respectable, fair and well-behaved person.

Teaching discipline to our children is the main tool we have to direct their actions in the family, school and street. However, it can be quite a difficult task.

Teaching discipline in 7 keys ways

If we want to teach discipline, we can begin by considering wise recommendations from specialists. It is also important to take into consideration any advice that comes from our closest friends.

To begin this arduous task, let’s reflect on these helpful tips:

Key Point #1: Be fair

Respect is one of the main lessons that children should have on their list of beliefs. Respect and equality are both essential values we should instill in our children. Treating children as equals and not as inferior encourages them to want to contribute more.

It is not recommended that a child demonstrate obedience as submission instead of respect. By not being too authoritarian, we allow them to understand that it is okay to give in from time to time.

Key Point #2: Be cautious

With caution we can avoid many evils; for example, incurring excessive punishments. It is important to communicate the reasons why the child is being disciplined so that our actions do not confuse them.

Key Point #3 Allow freedom

Part of the family relationship is allowing each individual in the group to have the same rights and be participants in family activities with total freedom.

For that to happen, it is essential to give children the opportunity to express their opinion to their parents. This feeds the trust in the group and allows them to understand that they are heard.

Key Point #4 Give space

The foundation of discipline is individual freedom. When children recognize that they have their own personal space to choose their actions, they find it easier to accept rules and authority.

It is important to allow children to act out of their own free will and be able to negotiate and communicate with their parents. This is key when it comes to establishing rules and limits.

Key Point #5 Establish standards

If family rules are clear and well known, then they shouldn’t be cause for confusion or disagreements.

Being specific when setting rules in the home is the first step in teaching discipline to children.

Key Point #6 Avoid unannounced rewards

When teaching a habit or behavior, it is essential that the child be excited to be rewarded from the beginning.

For example, if we want them to do a task and we are going to give them a prize for it, it is very important that the child knows this beforehand.

In this sense, if the child completes the objective, they will have learned discipline in two ways: one because they obeyed, and two because they fulfilled their personal goal. That is, they satisfied both themselves and their parents.

7 Key Points to Teaching Discipline

Key Point #7 Listen to your children

Listening is the basis of teaching discipline. It is linked to other key points such as respect, equality, freedom and following rules.

It never hurts to listen to what our children want to tell us. It allows us to know how they think and thus better react to their behavior.

Listening is also a useful tool to make them see that they can trust us and that they have an opportunity to defend themselves.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Calvete, E., Gámez-Guadix, M., & Orue, I. (2010). El Inventario de Dimensiones de Disciplina (DDI), Versión niños y adolescentes: Estudio de las prácticas de disciplina parental desde una perspectiva de género. Anales de psicología, 26(2).
  • Hart, C.H. y Robinson, C.C. (1994). Comparative study of maternal and paternal disciplinary strategies. Psychological Reports, 74, 495-498.
  • Socolar, R., Savage, E., Devellis, R. F. y Evans, H. (2004). The discipline survey: A new measure of parental discipline. Ambulatory Pediatrics, 4, 166-173.
  • Wells, K.C. (1997). Title: The death of discipline: is the requiem premature? Aggression and Violent Behavior, 2, 337-341.
  • Zervides, S. y Knowles, A. (2007). Generational change in parenting styles and the effect of culture. E-journal of applied psychology, 31, 65-75.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.