New Trends: Creative Discipline - Mindful Living Network
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New Trends: Creative Discipline

by Dr. Kathleen Hall

Your child has taken a treat from the cookie jar before dinner again – even after you told them not to… Now it’s time for action, but what is the best method of discipline?

Recently, spanking has been a hot button issue. In the past it was a popular means of disciplining children. Now, many people believe that it may cause psychological distress and other problems. Warnings, timeouts, and other traditional forms of discipline are useful, but may not work with every child.  Here are few creative discipline ideas that can avoid the distress and teach your child a lesson.

Here are some creative discipline suggestions:

  1. Solve forgetfulness the hard way. Have your children learn their lessons through hard work. For instance, has your child forgotten to feed the dog again? Next time put the dog bowl at one end of the house and the food at the other. Have your child transport food into the dish one kibble at a time (no running or speed-walking). It may be a while before the dog is fed, but his meals will never be forgotten again.
  2. Bad behaviors costs money. We teach our children that good deeds pay, so maybe it’s time they learn that bad behavior costs. If your kids get an allowance create an invoice for them. Signify how much each completed task (like washing dishes) is worth. For every naughty behavior like throwing a tantrum, you can subtract an amount from their invoice. This way they can see how costly their behavior is.
  3. Clean up or give up. Tired of telling your children to pick up their toys? Designate a short clean-up time period (15 or 20 minutes) with a timer. Make it clear that any toys or clothes that are out of place when the timer goes off will be sent to charity. Then have the child personally deliver the items to charity services (like the Salvation Army). They’ll soon learn to appreciate their possessions.
  4. Punishment in a jar. If your children do not heed your words, then let a jar or can scare them straight. Fill a jar or can with various punishments written on slips of paper like no cell phone for a week, go to bed an hour early, or no allowance of two weeks. Every time they disobey they’ll have to take a slip from the jar. They’ll learn their lesson soon enough.

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