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The 5 C’s of Disciplining Children

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I was talking to my grown daughter yesterday who described her own daughter’s latest “grocery store meltdown” in the middle of the dairy aisle. “Mom,” she said,  “Now I understand why you did what you did to discipline me when I was growing up. Your methods make so much sense now.” As mothers, we strive to teach in many ways; but over the years, I’ve learned that there are a few old school discipline methods that work and stand the test of time.

With all the new trends in discipline, I’ve found that the time-tested practices work best. My best discipline method can be summed up in one truth: More is caught than taught. The challenge in disciplining children is how to turn negative behavior habits around and with a more positive approach.

These 5 C’s of how to discipline your child are simple discipline methods that will build more positive responses in your children.

1. Be Consistent.

You know your family best within your rules, strengths, and schedules. Consistency in maintaining a balanced flow leads your family to safe boundaries that will bring unity and peace to your family. Don’t waiver on what works well FOR you and what you know about your family’s needs. Don’t negotiate for what works against you because it’s different than another family. Don’t keep up with another family’s pace at the sacrifice of your own family’s needs.

2. Be Clear.

Make your rules, guidelines, and expectations clear cut and age-appropriate. Express them often, make a song about it, get them to repeat rules back, and connect a positive affirmation to it. Reward your children often by honoring them. This reinforces positive behaviors instead of giving attention to negative or inappropriate outbursts. This habit is preventative and builds trust between children and parents. Reminding children of the consequences in breaking the rules helps them avoid discipline disasters.

3. Be Complimentary.

Encourage and develop your child’s strengths and work on their weaknesses. Be the change you want to see in them. More IS caught than taught in setting the positive attitude towards life. Celebrate small wins and remind each other that you are a team. Don’t let the only thing you say about their behavior be negative. Don’t shift blame or give shame to your children. Shame never motivates and always intimidates. Positive talk always breeds positive thinking. These 99 compliments for kids are a great place to start.

4. Be Considerate.

Implement or opt in for “time ins” versus “timeouts.” Plan intentional time or activities for mommy and son as well as daddy and daughter. Intentional time adds up in a child’s mind and in yours. Years from now, you will not wish you would have sent more emails or spent more time at work on the weekends. When parents are too busy to spend quality family time, those are missed windows of happiness that life has to offer. Set some freedom within your family and give margin to developing character time.

5. Be Caring.

Putting all these disciplines into practice proves effective nurturing over time. Change happens over time with care, but don’t be afraid to seek professional advice if needed. Children are facing bigger social pressures these days than our generation ever did. Embrace change and do what you can but utilize the strengths of others.

Remember the five C’s when disciplining. These methods will make a difference overall. Building relationships take time, caring, and consistency.

How do you love beyond your words of discipline? How are you building a culture of love and honor within your home?

Janelle Keith loves lattes, good laughs, and lives to notice the good in others. She is the author of Grace for Your Waist, her story of losing 132 lbs. of weight.


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