While every child is different, most children need to be given consistent, clear rules and expectations about behavior. The following are some general principles about discipline:

  • Discipline needs to begin as soon as the child is mobile -- pulling up and crawling.
  • Young infants rely on their parents to provide a safe environment.
  • Discipline should be age-focused and should teach age-appropriate behaviors.
  • Try to recognize and praise desirable behavior.
  • Be a good role model for your child.
  • After the discipline occurs, make sure the child knows it is the behavior you are not happy with, not the child.
  • Physical punishment is not needed or appropriate.
  • Spoken rewards for good behavior should be immediate. ("I’m really proud of the way you shared your toy.”)