The Five C's of Discipline

  1. Clarity:  Be clear when you set privileges, rules, and limits. Don't assume your children know family rules until you've talked about them. Be sure your children understand why theses rules are being made. Involve them as much as possible in making the rules. You can even write them out and tape them to the refrigerator door. Describe the desired behavior: Don't use vague terms like "Be good"--"behave"-- and "naughty"
  2. Consistency:  Be consistent in enforcing rules. Stick to a discipline/ consequence that had been established. If a change in rules is needed, talk about it ahead of time. Be flexible--as kids grow, the are ready for expanded privileges and changed in boundaries and limits. But your role as a parent is still important.
  3. Communication:  Talk about privileged, rules, and limits often. Be willing to discuss the fairness of a rule and reasons for it. Help your children identify and label their feelings, and their needs. During times of strong emotion, consider what other factors may be involved--think H-A-L-T. Teach children to ask themselves--"Am I Hungry? Angry? Lonely? Tired?" Talk about healthy ways to meet real needs.
  4. Caring Carry out discipline buy using encouragement and support, not just pushing for broken rules. Discipline is a learning opportunity. Describe the behavior that was unacceptable-- don't attack the child's worth as a person. Realize that children and teens are still "in process." Be willing to admit your own mistakes.
  5. Create a sense of social responsibility in your children. Expect moral behavior, like honesty and fairness. Promote your child's sense of self respect.