One of the issues I deal with a lot in my practice is the issue of parenting and discipline. I believe that many parents want to do a good job when it comes to raising their children but they are unsure how to best go about doing that.

One of the areas that often comes up is the area of discipline. "It just doesn't seem to work" is a regular sentiment that I hear.

My response is often, "What is the point of your discipline?" The answers I get often vary.

I think the answer to this question is vitally important. The motive is what drives everything. Think about the ineffective parenting you have seen, how much of it has been motivated by the desire to just have the child stop screaming?

Now think about your own parenting. What has been the motivation behind it? Be honest with yourself.

  • Has it been to teach your child to the right thing because it's the righ thing to do?
  • Has it been to teach your child to do the right thing because doing the wrong thing would bring down your wrath?
  • Has it been to protect your reputation?
  • Has it been because they were annoying you?

What has been the root motivation? I think that often our discipline as parents fails because we fail to understand what is driving our own actions. I see a lot of discipline that is driven by the wrong kind of emotions.

If we are disciplining out of frustration we are probably setting ourselves and our children up for failure. So do me a favor over the next few days, examine your own emotions when you are disciplining your children.

What's going on inside of you when you've had to tell them for the thirtieth time to clean their room? When that note comes from school what are you feeling? More importantly how much of that emotion is getting into your parenting?

In the upcoming days and weeks we'll take some looks at different parenting styles and a few ideas that might help you in your own parenting.

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  1. One of the things I learned in parenting 5 of my own and one stepchild is consistency and don’t do the things you tell your child not to do. Each of my children has a different personality and I cannot have one across the board discipline for every incident and every child.

  2. Hi Dawn,
    Thanks for taking the time to read and respond. Having consistency and yet a varied approach is so important. You are so right.

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