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Timing Discipline Right

Is there such a thing as timing discipline right?

I believe there is.

Disciplining a child as soon as possible is best, because if you wait, the child forgets and cannot correctly equate the punishment with the bad behavior.

A few quick examples to discipline immediately:

Your child is throwing a tantrum in the store?

If your child throws his toys?
-Take the toy away NOW, and don't give it back until tomorrow.

If your teen talks back?
-Take away their next social event (yes, they will live- and they will also learn).

The fact of the matter is, if you're wishy-washy and inconsistent- threaten and do not follow through with punishments,  children can get confused and find loopholes they will use to their advantage. Eventually they won't trust your judgement or where you stand on rules. If you're boundaries and consequences aren't swift and clear, kids will never take you seriously.

What do we accomplish by disciplining immediately?

We teach our children lessons now
We show them we mean business and we are serious
We expect best behavoir
We are not a push over
We will not provide loopholes
We will not put up with their ill behavior
We promote better choices
We set expectations which are easy to follow and understand

Children who are disciplined learn accountability.

Why is accountability important? Because imagine if every day, adults walked around not being held responsible for things like working, following the law or using manners? Granted, I know not all adults do these things as it is, but if NO ONE did them... what would our world be like and what would your life be like? Kids do not stop needing parents once they turn eighteen; someday their problems could become yours.

Here is an example of some immediate discipline in my home:

Looking up words in the dictionary is part of growing up and learning to spell. Sometimes we need to do it during homework time.

'Hey Mom! How do you spell....?' Well, my kids know the answer and laugh every time they are handed a dictionary.

It seems when my youngest was handed a dictionary for the first time back in the fall, he was less than impressed and said, "Oh, I bet THIS will be graaannnnd...".

I'm sorry? Was that attitude right there??????

Yes, YES it was attitude. 
And let me say it WAS grand when after he finished looking up his homework word, I made him look up several others as well... He searched for words like respect, attitude and rude. He had to not only find them but read them aloud.

I do not tolerate any level of talk back. I was not permitted to give it to my parents and I will not accept it from my children. Respect is something kids need to learn and a punishment as simple as a dictionary can help, especially when done right on the spot!

After the word look-up was done, we discussed his attitude and expectations of himself. He agreed he was not the type of kid who wanted to be rude and disrespectful so the behavior wasn't ok. His punishment was complete and he went off to play. He wasn't grounded, he didn't get spanked, nor did he lose any privileges, but I'm willing to bet he will never talk back again when I hand him a dictionary for his homework.

Punishments which fit the crime teach the lesson every time.

Email me with your discipline questions at

Follow up:
My son has been  handed a dictionary several times since then as recently as last night and NO backtalk, sighs or whines. He looked up his word, got finished with his work and went off to play.

I'm interested in a drama free home. Appropriate and immediate discipline help to foster this.
Watch for the parenting book I am currently in the process of writing and will publish soon!

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