Before you discipline today…

1) Change your expectations. Are your kids perpetually falling short? Do they feel like they can never measure up, that it’s never good enough for you? Maybe you need to adjust your expectations and control yourself.

Spend more energy giving kids tools to succeed than handing out consequences that don’t work anyway. Is your child perpetually in trouble? Then he needs more tools to succeed…rather than consequences for failing.

2) Affirm rather than scold. Affirm for the good choices instead of only focusing on the negative. I guarantee there are fifty bad things your child could have done today that he didn’t do. Recognize that for perspective.

3) If your child already got in trouble at school, don’t be embarrassed and pile on at home. Seriously, how would you like it if you came home and your spouse was waiting to say, “Honey, I heard you weren’t paying attention at the meeting at work today. We need to talk about your behavior.”

4) Spend your time teaching and showing him how to do it differently, rather than shaming him with the old, “How many times do I have to tell you?” routine. You’d never let anyone scold you and say, “What were you thinking?” Because what you’re really saying is, “You’re an idiot and should know better.” And that’s a sign you are too frustrated and need to control yourself first before disciplining your child. Please go through the 30 Days to Calm Program because then you’ll be able to show your kids how to calm down.

5) Get on the same page with your spouse…and with yourself! Yeah, you have different parenting styles and that’s perfectly great. But you need to be on the same page so your kids aren’t confused. And that means being confident and consistent yourself. Because if you aren’t confident, your kids simply won’t listen to you. So listen to the CDs together as a family and compare notes. And look into the Calm Couples Marriage Mentoring program to help you get on the same page.

6) Remember to enjoy your kids. Because sometimes you don’t need one more family talk about the same thing. You need to go get outside and have fun together as a family, to laugh and enjoy your child and break that vicious negative cycle. And that will change your child’s attitude and yours.

7) Remember to use that one simple phrase we teach on the Discipline CDs. Your kids don’t care about your lectures and aren’t looking to be convinced that you’re right. But they will respect you when you take action instead of repeating yourself 14 times.

Remember to listen to the CDs with your kids because they will often discipline themselves. And that’s the best discipline in the world–a parent and child who can control himself.

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