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Here are some additional tips to help you in your discipline:

Discipline tip #1: Create bug & brag lists
Whenever the kids have you frustrated, sit down and create a bug list (what you dislike about your kids) and a brag list (what they do that you like). (Taitz, 1994) This exercise will remind you of some positive things you can focus on while spurring new ideas to deal with the negative. The simple act of writing it down forces you to think specificially about what behavior is bothering you, and often provides insights into how you might address it.

Discipline tip #2: Acknowledge Your Kids Needs
Acknowledge a child’s growth and development when it comes to privileges and the way you treat them. It helps them feel better about their situation and makes them more likely to cooperate with the restrictions you do put in place when you acknowledge their growing maturity.

Discipline tip#3: Taylor the discipline to the child

Our first daughter needed only a certain look, and she knew we meant business. It’s a very different story for our second daughter. A look or a certain tone of voice have no impact on her urge to explore everything in her world. When she might endanger herself, we have to be right there, take her by the hand, try to distract her, and give her something else that’s safe to do. And we have to do it over and over again! I just hope she makes it to adulthood.”

– Beth, mother of Emily, 6, and Christie, 2 (Elium & Elium, 1994, p. 134)

You wouldn’t send your child to soccer practice in his little sister’s dress shoes, and you shouldn’t take a one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to disciplining your kids, either. Some children respond better to certain methods than others, and some will require more persuasion in order to listen. Some children are very sensitive to disapproval, others less so. A recent study from researchers at the University of Washington in Seattle found that when you adjust your parenting style to fit your child’s temperament, her risk of anxiety and depression is cut in half.

Discipline tip #4: Play it Out
If you’re struggling with recurrent discipline problems involving younger children, consider engaging in a little bit of dramatic play to act out these scenarios. Take turns playing different roles

and talking things out so that each of you gets a better understanding of what the other is thinking. (“Mommy needs Julia to have a quietly bedtime and go to sleep so that she’ll be well rested and ready for all the exciting things we’ll have to do in the morning.”) Play can be a great way to promote behavior that you want to see in a more relaxed setting.

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