Parenting is a big responsibility. Not only must basic needs be met, but parents must also help to nurture good behavior so that children grow up to be responsible citizens. All this starts with discipline. If you and your spouse or partner are having a hard time agreeing on how to discipline your child, there are a few ways you can deal with the problem. This guide will help you handle discipline problems with your own child so that you end up with a happy, obedient child.
Don't argue in front of the children. If you and your spouse don't agree on what has led to the discipline problems you're currently experiencing with your child, at least be responsible enough to discuss it outside of your child's hearing range. Kids shouldn't ever be exposed to arguing. Not only does it hurt them to see parents upset, but it also lets them know that there is a weakness in the discipline realm (which can always lead to getting away with more!) Keep your arguments quiet and private.
Label the problem. When you're faced with a discipline problem, it's likely because there is some inconsistency in the way the child is being parented. To solve this problem, both parents need to sit down and agree on what the problem is at hand. Does the child not do chores? Is there a lack of respect? Or does the child lie? All of these discipline issues resulted from problems with how the initial behavior was addressed. If you and your spouse can determine what the problem is that needs to be fixed, you will have a better chance of dealing with the discipline problem.
Find an appropriate solution. Each negative behavior needs to have negative consequences. If your child is doing something that is unacceptable, he or she needs to face consequences for such behavior. This is something that you and your spouse need to agree on. Discipline can come in many forms: grounding, loss of privileges, extra chores, apology notes, and so on. Each disciplinary action needs to suit the severity of the child's action. For example, a child who forgets to fold his laundry shouldn't necessarily be kept from going to soccer practice ever again. Although you're removing a privilege that he loves, it may be a bit harsh. Find an appropriate solution to a disciplinary problem that both you and your spouse agree on. That's key. (And if you can't agree on something, at least try to compromise. You need to approach your child appearing to both strongly support the decision. Otherwise, the child will manipulate either parent and the discipline will fall by the wayside.)
Be consistent. The best way to handle discipline problems is to set clear expectations for your children and then stick to them. Consistency lets a child know what to expect if he or she goes out of line. Discipline should be consistent, unwavering, and expected. The child will quickly learn that there are always consequences for inappropriate behavior.
If you are having a tough time getting your child to agree to your discipline methods, consider sitting down as a family and coming up with a family discipline plan. Discuss scenarios that might occur, and agree on appropriate forms of discipline for those actions. If the children are on board and have a hand in determining the discipline, they'll be more likely to abide by the rules. As a result, this will help you to better handle discipline problems with your children.