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Discipline is All About Having a Bag of Tricks up Your Sleeve

Last night, I lost my temper with Gavin and told him off in none too soft tones when he disobeyed my gentle requests to pack up his toys and instead threw them across the room to express his displeasure.  Although my raised voice had the effect I wanted – Gavin silenced his crying and screaming immediately – I was regretful that it made someone else cry.

Poor innocent Gareth who could not have known that Mummy’s harsh tones and anger were not directed at him.  Even after I tried to soften my voice and tone, Gareth cried again.  When I turned to look at him I realised why – he was staring at my face which was wearing an angry mask intended for Gavin.

This recent event has been further motivation for me to identify and utilise alternative methods of discipline for Gavin.  I dived back into my copy of “The No-cry Discipline Solution” which provided a very useful section on specific tactics to employ.

As we all know certain discipline tactics work only on certain children and not others, while other discipline tactics may work on a child sometimes but not all the time.  There is no one stop solution that will work on a child all the time, every time.  Because children are uniquely different and have their own set of unique responses for different situations, parents need to be flexible with their implementation of disciplinary tactics.

To counter this problem, Elizabeth Pantley recommends keeping a bag of tricks up your sleeve so that you have something for every situation.  If one trick fails, you’ll have another up your sleeve to try – you won’t get caught with your pants down.  What I like about “The No-Cry Discipline Solution” is that there are lots of suggestions that you can try.

Sometimes the problem is not that we want to get angry with our children and scream at them but because we run out of ideas to try then we get frustrated because our children are still not listening to us and we ended up screaming at them out of frustration.  Being able to pick up ideas from books, other parents, or anywhere else means we are less likely to fall back to screaming.

If you are willing to learn from others and be a little creative yourself, you’ll realise that there are really a lot of disciplinary tactics out there that do not require smacking or raised voices to implement.  I’m going to cover these ideas in a series of posts and hope that you will add your own ideas and experiences in the comments so that we might all benefit from each others’ knowledge and experiences.

The Discipline Armoury: Tip 1 – Consistency

Published by Shen-Li

SHEN-LI LEE is the author of “Brainchild: Secrets to Unlocking Your Child’s Potential”. She is also the founder of (a website on parenting, education, child development) and (a website on Right Brain Education, cognitive development, and maximising potentials). In her spare time, she blogs on Forty, Fit & Fed, and Back to Basics.

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