These are the three parameters of effective discipline–fair, firm, and positive. They all work together to decrease misbehavior. In addition, they help your child take charge and become his or her own disciplinarian.
Parenting Technique 4: Make your expectations clear – by being fair!
Here is a great example that shows how this concept works.
You start by setting up for success.
You are getting ready to go to Grandma’s house. You ask you child, “What would you like to take with you in your “carry-a-long” case to keep you busy when we get there?” Popular items are puzzles, books, coloring pads, and projects that your child has started. Your child picks out items of choice, and then you two together go over the selections to see that nothing is either missing or left out.
You continue by making your expectations clear!
“When we get to Grandma’s house, I expect you to stay busy with the activities you brought. If you either play on your own with the selected items or talk with Grandma and me, that will be great! If, on the other hand, you do not play with the items you selected or do not talk with us, that will not be good.
Then when we all get home, if you acted properly, you and I will have our own play-time together. However, if you did not follow the directions, then we will not.”
And then! You were fair! By offering two choices, you taught responsibility. Your child could behave as directed and get the reward or not behave as asked and miss the reward. Hmm, interesting decision! What do you think your child would do?