Creative Child

Three Discipline Techniques that are Sabotaging Your Authority

by Rebecca Eanes


A better alternative: Time-In.

  1. Taking away privileges or belongings. This is another popular technique that I once used, and what’s important here is the intent behind taking away the privilege or belonging. I once took a toy away from my toddler son that he was throwing dangerously, and that was a logical action to take, not a punishment. However, if I was to take away his favorite stuffed giraffe for a week because he disobeyed me, you can see how that is actually not related at all and is simply a power play to cause enough discomfort to bring him into line. In this way, we use what our children love and are attached to against them, and this is very damaging to the relationship. Another example is I once removed my son’s Kindle from him for misusing it in a way that went against the rules we had previously established. The Kindle was put away until a family meeting was conducted later explaining the rules again and why they were in place. Once I felt that he understood his offense, I returned his possession to him, trusting that he would be wise with it. Again, I removed it until I could teach, not because I wanted to hurt or frustrate him into compliance. As a general rule in positive parenting, privileges or belongings are only taken away if the offense is related to that particular privilege or belonging, not as a means to make a child pay for a transgression.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

A better alternative: Problem-solving.

  1. Guilt. This one is so insidious, yet so common that we barely even register that we are using it. “I’m so disappointed in you.” “What is wrong with you?” We say phrases like this to purposefully (and sometimes not so purposefully) evoke a sense of guilt which will make our kids want to not disappoint us again. Yet these phrases plant seeds in the hearts of children, seeds that can be very hard to pluck up later on. When a child hears “what is wrong with you?” enough, they internalize that there is, indeed, something wrong with them. When he hears how disappointed you are in him often, he begins to understand that he is a disappointment. Guilt trips cause resentment to build and destroy relationships, not to mention what it does to the psyche of the recipient. Guilt is a poor motivator and sabotages influence. Use your words to encourage better behavior, not to induce guilt.

A better alternative: Encouragement.

Rebecca Eanes, is the founder of and creator of Positive Parenting: Toddlers and Beyond. She is the bestselling author of 3 books. Her newest book,Positive Parenting: An Essential Guide, is more than a parenting book, it's a guide to human connection. She has also written The Newbie's Guide to Positive Parentingand co-authored the book, Positive Parenting in Action: The How-To Guide to Putting Positive Parenting Principles in Action in Early ChildhoodShe is the grateful mother to 2 boys.


2 of 2

You might also like.

Want more? Follow us.

Join our newsletter and get the latest updates!
Hit "Like" to see Creative Child on Facebook