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6 Things You Should Stop Saying While Disciplining Your Child

6 Things You Should Stop Saying While Disciplining Your Child

While trying to enforce discipline, parents often say things that make the child end up undermining their authority or misinterpreting their good intentions, fuelling further mishaviour. Extra care must therefore be taken to ensure you choose your words carefully.

Find 6 things you should stop saying to your child while disciplining them…

1. “Just wait till your daddy gets home.”

Sounds familiar? Saying this passes the message that you cannot handle your child’s misbehaviour and daddy, the tough guy, will do the job when he arrives. You child may then decide to undermine your authority and have a field day whenever he pleases, after all, consequences can only be enforced when daddy gets home, and most times, he’s really too tired to do anything, pushes it till later and often ends up forgetting all about it.

Besides, even if daddy, who will be seen as the bad cop, always enforces consequences when he gets back, it may not be effective as some children, especially very young ones, often fail to connect consequences applied much later directly to previous misbehaviour. The most effective consequences are those served immediately.

2. “I will fix that empty head of yours today.”

So, you’ve been repeatedly trying to make your child comply with a particular rule or learn something for the umpteenth time and out of frustration, you spill that. Your child has probably heard you say this a million times and yell, shout or spank – it’s become a vicious circle.

Except you really have a way of opening his head and sticking your instructions right into it so he totally gets it once and for all, refrain from saying that as he’ll likely just think, ‘Yeah, right!’ and prepare for the usual round of spanking. On the flip side, constantly saying that may make him feel really dumb and accept he can never do things the right way.

READ ALSO: Discipline: Top Things Cool Parents Should Do to Stay Calm

3. “Stop crying right now or I’ll give you something to really cry about.”

You reprimand your 5-year-old, he starts crying so loudly and continues until you think he plans to do so all day. While this can be very frustrating, avoid continuous pleading or issuing the empty threat above repeatedly. It has probably become a pattern already, your child already knows and will only frustrate you more by screaming even louder.

Save yourself the frustration by ignoring him or enforcing consequences such as a time-out. Isolating him for a bit will likely help him pull himself together.

4. “I won’t repeat myself.”

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You say this repeatedly and your child has learned to ignore you until you sound like a broken record. State a clear instruction once, and if your child doesn’t act according, tell him, “If you don’t clear your toys right now I will (add the consequence)” and make sure you follow through.

5. “Stop arguing with me.”

Saying that will open the floor for endless rounds of further arguments. If you issue an instruction and an argument ensues, remind your child of the set consequence and ignore him.

6. “So, have you learned your lesson yet?”

Don’t shame your child or rub the consequences suffered in his face by saying that as this makes him think the whole idea was just to punish him and he may not really learn the needed lesson. Consequences should be centred around teaching them to learn from their mistakes and desist from making a repeat, not shaming them and threatening there would be worse consequences next time.

Instead, help them understand the essence of the consequences enforced and reflect on making better choices next time by asking, “So, what would you do differently next time?”

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