Discipline is a very important part of parenting.
Healthy discipline strategies will have these goals in common:

  • Protect the child from danger.
  • Teach self discipline.
  • Teach a sense of responsibility.
  • Help instill the values of the family, culture and faith.

Discipline is about setting limits of behaviour for a child based on their age and ability to make decisions. Problems in discipline occur either when a parent does not provide enough limits or is too rigid in the “rules”.

Inflexible limits cause rebellion in children, especially as they grow older, when they want to make decisions and develop a sense of freedom and individuality. Discipline and limit setting provides balance between these two extremes.

Some tips for parents:

  • Give all children reasonable, limited choices based on their age and ability to make decisions. Be clear and consistent in establishing limits and boundaries for your child’s behavior.
  • Your rules don’t have to be the same ones other parents have, but they do need to be clear and consistent. If two parents are raising a child, both need to use the same rules.
  • Be clear about the consequences of unacceptable behaviour.
  • Provide order in a child’s life. Keep a regular schedule of meals and bedtimes. If you have to change the schedule, tell them about the changes ahead of time.
  • Show your love. Every day, tell your children: “I love you. You’re special to me”, give lots of hugs and kisses.
  • Praise your children. When your children learn something new or behave well, tell them you’re proud of them.
  • Make your children feel safe. Comfort them when they’re scared. Show them you’ve taken steps to protect them.
  • Be patient.
  • Set a good example. Children learn by watching.

Use Discipline To Teach Negotiation/ Cooperation Skills

Do empower (help the child to do well) Don’t engage in power struggles
Do express problems accurately Don’t exaggerate or minimize
Do teach the child how to do better Don’t shame or humiliate the child
Do set limits Don’t hit, demean, or make the child feel bad about herself to control behavior
Do criticize specific behavior at specific times Don’t criticize globally or label the child (lazy, dumb, liar, etc.)
Do respectfully confront Don’t avoid
Do attend to positive behavior Don’t reinforce negative behavior with exaggerated attention
Do allow your child to make choices within parameters acceptable to you Don’t try to control everything
Do show that cooperation is fun and productive Don’t make cooperation unnecessarily difficult
Do foster an attitude of cooperation Don’t demand submission
Do give your child freedom of choice within parameters of acceptable behavior Don’t make most choices for the child
Do show value for the child when you want cooperation Don’t devalue the child to get submission

Dr. Rituparna Ghosh
Consultant Clinical Psychologist


Reference –


8 Positive Discipline Techniques Every Parent Should Know – Be Positive Series.