( This post contains Amazon Affiliate links which helps this website stay up. Thank you for your support )
Amanda – Can we talk about discipline? I feel like such a failure as a mother because everything I know about discipline doesn’t work on any of my kids. We took how we were raised and brought that into parenting and now I feel like We’ve ruined our kids because they flat out refuse to obey anything. They can have everything taken away and still not listen. They can have a hundred talks and repeat it back to you and still disobey. I’m so overwhelmed and aggravated and feel like people are constantly judging me and it’s just so frustrating.
This post is a collection of wise advice from moms who have found success in different techniques. Glean from their knowledge:
1. Let Go Of The Judgement You Feel
LeAnn O – I don’t have advice other than one thing: let go of the weight of other people’s judgement. It’s not meant for you to carry. Someone once told me(when I was having a baby years ago) that my pride would be one of the biggest stumbling blocks to parenting well. We tend to react differently when our pride is at stake. That no matter what, everyone has been embarrassed by their kids at times, and yet every one of those people have made bad choices themselves, at times. Let it go, and immediately the release from that wounded pride will relieve some of the pressure and bring more clarity. Just do the next thing. One thing at a time. Grace for fellow image bearers of Christ, where our purpose is to restore. And ask Him to show you how to do the next thing and keep moving forward without the weight of people’s opinions.❤️
2. Emphasize The Good MORE
Shandy R – My parents used communication when I had done something wrong, with the occasional punishment of no TV, go to your room, etc. but on the flip side of that – focus more on the positive than the negative. What is he doing right? Use positive reinforcement. When he’s doing good things he gets rewarded… stickers, points, rewards. The positive attention should help him to form better habits.
Kelsey R – I know this may sound cheesy, but I reward the good, and we have a sticker chart system. If they do certain things well, they get the stickers for good behavior.
3. Consider The Shows (Influences) Your Kids Are Listening To
Tracey C – A lot of discipline problems come from a lack of respect for the parent. There should be no need to threaten to ‘call daddy’. Of course this is coming from an Army wife who reared kids without the father being around a majority of the time because of military deployments and obligations so that was a threat I just couldn’t use. However I did find that what my kids watched and were exposed to effected how they treated me. If they watched shows which tended to show the parents as clueless nerds, it showed in my kids behavior. When I’d cut those shows out, they’d return to their normal respectful selves.
4. Too Many Great Toy And Entertainment Options Regardless Of Their Behavior?
Julie A- I want to preface this with I’m right there with you. With that said, reading between the lines and from my own experience, I wonder if you take your kids to too many places. Do they get a lot of activities regardless of behavior? Maybe they have too many things as well. Hence why they don’t care what’s taken, they get another. This is where my husband and I are at. Maybe our kids are borderline spoiled? I just purchased the book “try and make me”. It came recommended by my bil who’s a counselor.
5. Consistency Is Key To Success
Lynnette W – Basically, be consistent with whatever you say you’re going to do. Don’t make threats that you don’t intend to keep. If you do, they’ll learn to push the boundaries and won’t listen. Also, parenting isn’t about creating change in our children. It’s about showing the Grace of Christ through our parenting. I highly recommend the book “Parenting” by Paul Tripp. You haven’t ruined your kids. They are still under your roof and you still have hope! Don’t give up!
Kris F – Consistency is key for me and my kids realizing I’m not kidding. I expect obedience the first time, every time. We live in a farm and there are always chores to be done. My kids all have phones and my oldest a car. When I take things away, they don’t get it back until I see a consistent change of behavior. Sometimes that takes a long time. My 17 year old son lost his phone and ability to drive for 6 months. When he asked me when he could get it back, I told him when his behavior changed and I wasn’t correcting the same thing continuously. That many no back talk, no disobedience, no lying, doing what was asked, etc. On a regular basis. Did him not having the ability to drive inconvenience me? Yes, but being a parent isn’t about what is easier for me, it’s about raising humans to be respectable, contributing adults.
Sharon W – I was given a book called Parenting with Love and Logic which I found very helpful. Being consistent with discipline, and doing your best to relate it to the offense is helpful. Also, children learn best from their mistakes when they hurt from the inside out, not the outside in (insight from Love and Logic). The biggest thing to remember is that they, like you, are born with a sinful nature and it is normal for them to want their own way; so even if you get them to be obedient much of the time they will still disobey from time to time. So pray for the Lord to change their hearts. You may want to take a break from homeschool to focus on character training and scripture memorization. My hubby likes to play obedience games with the children sometimes. He’ll get them to follow instructions (a bit like Simon Says), and praises them when they do so. You could even have little prizes for when they obey.
6. The Old Fashioned Time Out Corner
Brianna S – My kids hate standing in the corner. I tell them nose in the corner and hands behind your back. Great thing is there are corners everywhere!
Maggie L – My aunt did this to us as children, except we had to sit crisscross with our hands under our butt & our nose against the wall.. worked like a charm..
Ashley M – I loaded up on prizes from Michael’s for my kids (clearance crafts). Everytime the kids do something that shows good character, they get to put a cotton ball in a huge mason jar (it’s half a gallon!). When it’s full, they all get to pick a prize (a craft 🤗) They’re working so hard to please Mommy.
From Ashley’s white board.
1 point – Table Manners
1 point – Store Behavior
1 point – Immediate Obedience
1 point – Staying In Bed
1 point – Brushing Teeth Immediately
1 point – Room Check
1 point – Kindness
1 point – See Something, Do Something
1 point – Getting Dressed
1 point – Listening
1 point – Healthy Eating
Al M – I set time aside specifically to love them. I seek them out to kiss on the head or squeeze as I bury my face in their hair, intentionally. I whisper how lucky I am to get to be their momma. I tell them how thankful I am to God for bringing her/him into OUR family. I set an afternoon, morning, or evening to take that one kid out for breakfast, a burger, ice cream, or if they are outgrowing something, we go and replace whatever it is at the mall, and stop for lemonade and a pretzel, plus a small Lego set or maybe just a mini figure. I tell them how nice it is to get to spend time with them and I tell them how proud I am to get to be their mom… because they are precious— not because of what they do or don’t do, earn or don’t earn, think or not think… the mere fact that they exist means they are infinitely valued by me and by Jesus. I’d love to hear about what happens should you choose this. Sometimes we expect too much… and sometimes we don’t pick our battles, we go after them like a pesky fly, instead of our precious kids. We forget to first make sure they feel our live connection to their very hearts.Sending you love and prayers, Mama. Let people’s judgements and your own judgement of yourself fall away. Be compassionate towards your own self first… trust me, that is usually where healing for our kiddos begins.
7. “Spare The Rod” May Be Misunderstood
Al M – I met a Jewish man who in conversation made comments about how weird it is that Christians distort what scripture actually says, out of convenience or whatever. He spoke of drinking wine, the Sabbath and beating your kids into submission in order to “control”, but control is Biblically akin to witchcraft. Anyway he explained how we take “spare the rod” text and run with it. He said a shepherd uses his rod to guide his sheep. He will push them out of harms way or protect them from a fall, much like we do in the car with our arm when there is a sudden brake. We lend our arm as a boundary of protection. The rod was used to beat the predators: wolves or lions who approach the sheep and lambs get the stick. NOT the other way around. It was very eye opening. God does not beat me. He teaches me and is patient, so I gave my parent-heart to Him in repentance and thus was converted to love and guide and reach, although it takes more effort and it definitely is not a “time-saver”.
Jennifer P – I was spanked with belts and paddles when I was little. I was a very sensitive child and it made me feel actual loathing for my parents. I knew they did it out of anger and not from a place of love. I felt backstabbed and betrayed every time they took a hand to me. I doubted our bond. I will just say that in times of extreme frustration, I walk away. I (gently) spanked my oldest daughter once. Her eyes turned a different color and she gave me this stone cold, hurt, hateful look that I will never forget. That’s when I knew that physically hurting someone into compliance is never the way. It’s interesting how it’s so wrong to do it to a spouse yet we are taught that it’s the *right thing to do* to a child, who doesn’t even have a fully developed brain. A child who may be hungry, tired, unable to articulate..
8. Remove Rewards That Mean The Most To The Child
Janet A- For most kids talking alone doesn’t work. Some children respond well to positive reinforcement (such as behavior charts). Often children need a consequence. For my kids losing privilege’s works best. Every child has their favorite privilege- One of mine loves watching t.v., another enjoys video games, and another likes using the computer. I take away the privilege’s that each child will miss most. Give yourself grace. Pray on it and allow yourself time to cool off before responding. We all go through seasons where the kids behaviors seem out of control and we’re pulling our hair out. You’ll get through this!
9. Find The Root Cause Of The Behavior. ( boredom, hungry, frustrated?)
Cindy R- Not Christian, but Beyond Behaviors by Dr. Mona Delahooke, will definitely give you the “why” (neuroscience) behind behaviors. Challenging behaviors are surface level. The root cause is what needs to be addressed. My suggestion also is to be aware of the language we use…the behaviors are difficult, not the child.
10. Scripture Memorization Is Foundational For The Life Ahead
Tina K- I homeschool my grandson who is 8. In the few days I’ve joined I’ve noticed a lot of you asking for advice on how to discipline your kids or change their behavior and I feel like God wants me to open my heart up to you for a bit. ALL of the discipline/behavior problems are heart problems. Your children are not right with God and satan is trying to steal them away from you and if you are not vigilant he will succeed. Prayer, scripture reading, scripture memorization, and worshiping are more important than any school work. Your kids need to learn that when they are wrong in attitude or sin against you and God they need to ask for forgiveness and repent of their sin. Use scripture as copy work to help get it embedded in their brain or to correct an issue.
I say this as a mother of 4 kids who all turned away from God and became rebellious in their teen years. We tried multiple ways to discipline them and I thought we had raised them in the ways of God but God is now showing me that I did not to the extent that I should have. One of them has turned so far away from God that she is practicing in witchcraft and Buddhism. Two of them have returned to God but it took many years and devastating circumstances for them to do so. The type of circumstances that no parent wishes on their children. Please take this and learn from it and don’t repeat my mistakes. God is more important than anything else in this world including school work. Keeping your kids from satan is more important than any school work. My prayers are with you.
11. Don’t Discount The Food You Give To Your Children As The Source Of Behavior Issues ( food dyes, sugar )
Liz J – I do think it’s important to note that behavior problems can also be caused by physical issues such as food dye, sugar, preservatives, and deficiencies. Certainly not always but it is something to consider.
12. A Firm Parent Voice Shows A Confident Mom
Heleen S- Unfortunately consistency is key🙈 My 4 year old is also starting to push a few boundaries now. When I do scream I apologize to him, I say I am sorry for screaming, in this house we do not scream and give him a hug, however I still follow through with punishing him or addressing his behavior. It’s not easy though, for my son a good conversation with eye contact is enough, sometimes a time out.
Shawna S – I have three kids: 9,8,6. I sit with them and ask them what’s going on for them, why they did it. I let them know their emotions are ok but their behavior isn’t.I give them a consequence as closely tied to the demeanor as possible. Like if they are shouting, they need to leave the room.
Danielle S – My parents had to spank me and put my sister in corners and doing the other discipline never worked. Unfortunately you just gotta trial and error until you find something that works. Over time (I’ve watched many kids and was a nanny for a bit), I’ve done those two as well as grounding (from toys or activities) and honestly, the thing that usually seals it (or for some kids works better) is disciplining and then explaining to them what behavior isn’t okay and why. I actually had one point where my friend’s toddler bit off the nose of a plastic toucan (it was NOT the first thing he had broken just cuz he could) and I took his face in my hands and told him that his destructive behavior was not okay and he needed to stop breaking things. We never had that problem again. Kids grab onto more than you think they do so honestly, forcing them to sit down and listen to why they shouldn’t be doing something is more torture than anything else you could do to them and it gets the point across. ESPECIALLY for active little boys.
Tiffany L – Some things that have helped me raising my daughter: give her choices. Stick to my guns when I make a discipline decision. Always apologize if I raise my voice or have too quick of a temper. And always show my love for her, even when I’m angry. Also, take a break. If you feel like you are ready to spank, put your kid in a time out and leave the room.
13. Sleep May Be More Of A Factor. Is Your Child Getting Enough Hours Of Sleep?
Rachel M – It really could be lack of good sleep. I’ve read loads of articles about behavioral issues linked to poor sleep because my little one wasn’t sleeping well since birth, he’s 2, and finally he’s sleeping better and better attitude.
14. Never Saying No
Would YOU let your children swear at you or raise complete hell at home? Trust me when I say that you don’t want to be the parent that never says no. No means no, period. Humans have successfully parented using the word “No”, giving structure and boundaries to their kids for thousands of years. Personally I think you need both ‘yes’ and ‘no’ parenting.Children need to know when to behave, have manners and have boundaries to keep them safe. On the other hand, they need freedom to use their imagination, learn what interests them and generally be a kid. With that being said, if you are continually a “yes” mom, there’s a good chance that your kids will have no respect for you or treat you like a door mat later in life. – found at hotmomsclub.com/
15. Raising Entitled Brats
They always want whatever everyone else has. Once they have it, they want something new. Entitled kids feel they believe or deserve to be given something shiny or new or heck, even special privileges. A sense of entitlement complex is linked with narcissism and borderline personality disorder.We all want things. But some people feel they are entitled to whatever it is they want, and they feel they deserve it all now. That can make for very difficult relationships, a lot of disappointment, and never receiving what is most important in life. – Found at hotmomsclub.com/
16. Not Teaching Gratitude
Teaching gratitude to your children will help them be happier and better prepared for adult life. Unfortunately, a lot of kids are more entitled than grateful these days. Lack of gratitude in children is chafing the patience of many parents, and it shows up in our culture of entitlement.That’s why, no matter how difficult, long or tedious it may be, I always make kids write thank you cards to their peers or call a family members whenever they receive a gift on their birthday or a holiday. – found at hotmomsclub.com/
17. Supernanny – The Queen Of How To Do Discipline
Shalee B -I learned so much by watching super nanny. There is truly a method to time out that needs to be followed correctly for it to work.
Best Selling James Dobson Books – Amazon
Sarah W – Dr. James Dobson: “The Strong Willed Child” is great. It helped me realize how I was messing up.
Megan L – A friend recently recommended a book to me that completely changed everything for me on parenting. Read The New Strong Willed Child. It’s Christian based and packed full of great content for parenting kids that fall in all different categories. I read half of it the day she gave it to me just bc I couldn’t put it down.
Jim Fay Books – Amazon
AJ A – Buy the book “PARENTING WITH LOVE AND LOGIC”. I’ve worked with kids my entire life and have two children of my own. My mom owned a very busy and successful daycare for 15 years in our home, then I worked in two different daycares after I left the house, and I was a in home nanny for 3 years to a 3 year old little girl whom I also homeschooled with a strict christian curriculum. I’ve taken the Love and Logic classes and read the book several times. Highly recommend them to everyone.
Meli R – I have found parenting books very helpful and have seen an incredible change in my kids behavior since implementing. Some of my favs are No Bad Kids, Talking to Kids so They’ll Listen, and Parenting with Love and Logic.
Stephanie C- Parenting With Love and Logic was a game changer for our family.
Dr Ross Greene Books – Amazon
Ashley K – While it isn’t a Christian book, I found The explosive child by Dr Ross Greene(and really anything he wrote!) To be incredibly helpful with my son! It shows that kids do well when they can. They do not often disobey just for fun, generally it is for a reason. And demanding and punishing when they have an unmet need does nothing to help!
Tedd Tripp Books – Amazon
Victoria S – Shepherding a Child’s Heart by Tedd Tripp
Sarah S – The Connected Child might be helpful. I also really like, Shepherding a Child’s Heart.
Jennifer C – ‘Shepherding Your Child’s Heart’ by Tedd Tripp saved my daughter from me because I was doing a ‘time out’ for her. But that time out was me screaming at her to stay in it and becoming a power struggle. I am so thankful GOD brought that book into my life. ‘Wise Words for Moms’ by Ginger Plowman (Huffman) is a pamphlet with bad behaviors, heart probing question and scripture written out. This saved me and helped me discipline with scripture into the home. I combined the above book and this to learn how to stay under control and discipline in a GODly manner. ‘Wise Words for Moms’ by Ginger Plowman (Hubbard) is a quick 100+ book that is funny and shows how to use both of the books together. This one saved me as well and helped me loosen up and laugh again.
Amy L – “Shepherding a Child’s Heart” by Tedd Tripp. “Do you mind if your Kids Don’t” by Dr. Bill Rice III.
Keri J – I would recommend Gospel Centered Parenting, also, Tedd Tripp’s book: Shepherding a Child’s Heart.
Find this series on Amazon
Cindy M – Read “how to talk so kids will listen and listen so kids will talk”.
Turn Around At Home – See it On Amazon
Danielle S – Turn Around at Home by Jack Hibbs and Lisa Hibbs
Ginger Hubbard Books On Amazon
Stephanie G – I second any book by ginger Hubbard!! I’ve already read don’t make me count to three and now I’m reading I can’t believe you just said that. I also just bought wise words for moms.
Desiree B – I really like – ” Don’t make me count to 3 “ by Ginger Hubbard
Doug Wilson Books On Amazon
Kaitlynn B – “Why children matter” by Doug Wilson. It’s been a life changer in my home! You can download the cannon app and it has a bunch of resources on parenting including this audiobook. It’s amazing.
Daniel Siegel Books On Amazon
Gary Chapman Books On Amazon
Erin Beck – Love languages of child. It isn’t really pushed as a discipline book BUT it gets at the core of children behaving better IF their ‘love tank’ is full!
Danny Silk Books On Amazon
Jim Jackson Books on Amazon
Emily M – No-Drama Discipline by Daniel Siegel
Quincy B – “Loving your Kids on Purpose” by Danny Silk
Naomi H -Discipline that Connects by connected families!
Every mom needs these tips. Sometimes it takes finding a formula that works. – Meranda