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Discipline Ideas For Getting Children To Obey Parents

QUESTION: What are some discipline ideas for getting children to obey parents?


Getting children to obey parents can be a tall order. From the day they are born, children are growing toward becoming independent. As soon as they can, they begin to challenge authority and test the boundaries placed before them. This is how they learn and grow. As parents, we are responsible for our children's training. It is up to us to define the boundaries and assert our authority when they are challenged. This doesn't mean ruling with anger or cruelty. Discipline should be practiced because we love our children too much to let them act in unacceptable ways. Discipline should always be applied with love and creativity, and be age appropriate. Here are some age appropriate discipline suggestions. Keep in mind that each child and family is different, so while one thing might work for one child, it may not work for another; also, it may not be appropriate for your family at all.

Babies Ages 0-1 Year Old
  • Issue a firm "NO!"
  • Redirect, distract, or remove the child from the situation
Toddler/Preschoolers 2-4 Years Old
  • Issue a firm "NO!"
  • Remove the child to a Time Out area (one minute per year of age)
  • Require the child to apologize
  • Let a timer tell the child it is bedtime; this removes the parent as the "bad guy"
  • Expect the child to clean up any messes he has made
  • Spank only for willful defiance
Elementary Schoolers 5-8 Years Old
  • Remove the child to a Time Out area
  • Require the child to apologize
  • Ground or take away privileges
  • Assign extra chores or work (for example, have the child write a paragraph on generosity if the child is being disciplined for not sharing)
  • Spank only for willful defiance
'Tweeners 9-12 Years Old
  • Remove the child to a Chill Out area (Similar to Time Out except longer. The child must go to a place away from the action to consider his behavior and attitude. Choose a boring place, like an empty desk or dining room table facing a wall. Don't send the child to his room where he can be distracted by his books and toys. The object is to remove stimulation so the child can focus on the situation at hand)
  • Ground or take away privileges
  • Assign extra chores or work
  • Take away allowance (Basically a fine, possibly for inappropriate language)
  • Require the child to apologize
Teenagers 12-18 Years Old
  • Ground or take away privileges
  • Delay a desired privilege (getting driver's license or a later curfew)
  • Require the child to apologize
  • Require the child to work to pay for damages or debt
  • Take away allowance
Whatever discipline is chosen to keep our children on the straight and narrow, we must remember to be quick to "catch" our children doing right. We must praise and reinforce their good behavior as often as possible in order to have to correct and discipline them as infrequently as possible.

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