Disciplining your child sandusky county djfs

Being able to effectively discipline your child in a positive way is an extremely important skill for all parents. There are a variety of techniques that parents can choose from when disciplining their child. Sandusky County Children Services offers the following suggestions for your use with the understanding that not all suggestions are appropriate for your family and some suggestions may work better than others with your child. Be patient if the first time you use one of the suggestions it does not work out the way you want. Trying different techniques will help you to learn what is most effective with your child and will hopefully make your family closer.

Children of this young age should never be disciplined. When they cry or become agitated, they are expressing, in the only way they can, a "need" for something.


They may be hungry, need a diaper change or just want to be held. The parent should respond by giving the child what they need. Responding immediately to your newborn’s needs will not result in a spoiled child.

At this stage, children are becoming more aware of their surrounding and will soon have the mobility to explore. They don’t, however, understand safety issues or the possible frustration their curiosity causes the parent. Therefore, close supervision, distracting the infant from whatever has caught their attention or removing the object completely are the most effective ways to keep them safe. As the child develops and begins to comprehend more, the parent may need to begin to use other forms of positive and loving discipline.

From about 18-24 months, your child will, for the most part, still be unable to remember rules even though their understanding of "good" versus "bad" behaviors is developing. They are beginning to have a greater appreciation for what is expected of them. They are not always able to control their impulses, and therefore, still need constant supervision and limit setting. Distracting your child or removing the object of their fascination are still very effective forms of discipline for the 12-24 month old age group. Furthermore, as they get older, constant reminders of your expectations in very simple terms can be helpful.

From about 2-3 years old, your child’s understanding of appropriate behavior has grown. They are still not always able to control their impulses, but are more aware of your expectations for them. At this stage, they are able to accept suggestions and can follow simple directions. Effective discipline techniques for a child in this stage include taking away a favorite toy or activity and time outs. If time outs are used, it is recommended that the child be given one minute for each year of life (three minutes of time out for a three year old child). Furthermore, there should be a specific place (chair in living room, child’s bed) that the child knows they must go to and sit quietly when the time out is utilized. You can use a kitchen timer to track the length of the time out. This technique allows both the parent and the child time to calm down and think about what has happened. Please note that a child should never be made to stand or sit in uncomfortable positions or be required to hold heavy objects when using this technique.

During this stage, your child is able to understand and obey simple rules most of the time. They have also further progressed in their understanding of "right" and "wrong" and should be better able to control impulses. Children in this age group like to make decisions and begin taking more risks. Effective discipline techniques for these children include taking away a favorite toy or activity and time outs. Also, since these children like to have some control and understand consequences better, explaining your expectations to them and what will happen if they misbehave can also work (if you sit quietly in the grocery cart, you can pick out your favorite cereal.) For the older children in this group, instructing them to complete a simple specific task as punishment (pick up the toys in their bedroom) may also be effective.

Children from 6-8 years old are able to distinguish between "right" and "wrong" much more distinctly. However, they do have a difficult time seeing anything in between. They very much want to do the right thing and strive to please their parent(s). Their ability to problem solve is also progressing during this stage. As these children should be better able to understand and remember rules, it is appropriate, at this time, to have the expectation that these children will control their impulses more consistently.

From about 9-11 years old, children enjoy planning and organizing activities and are much more goal oriented. They have a fairly sound understanding of "right" and "wrong," but still do not fully understand the complex concept of a "middle ground." They very often have wonderful intentions, but may not always be capable of following through.

Planning ahead is very effective with school age children due to their increased emotional and intellectual abilities. Their ability to control impulses and understand consequences allows for them to be able to agree to specific desired behaviors and comprehend what will occur if they don’t live up to their end of the deal. Also, you should continue to use logical and natural consequences like taking away a favorite toy/activity/privilege, assigning extra age appropriate chores for them to do and time outs.

The important thing to remember with this age group is that you will need to "pick your battles." That doesn’t mean they don’t have to face consequences for misbehavior, but as they get older, they must be given more freedom. This will allow them to further develop inner controls and use all they have learned from you as they were growing up. As a parent, you must allow your child to make some "adult" mistakes while they still have a safety net to catch them. The skills they will learn from these experiences will be invaluable to them as an adult.

Finally, remember that misbehavior is normal, can’t be prevented completely and will not go away over night. However, if you are consistent over an extended period of time, you will eventually see a change in your child’s behavior. Always remember that you are the adult and your child is learning from the example you set. Good luck as you try these techniques!