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Many a times, our children make us angry and upset. They may make silly mistakes, do mischievous and thoughtless things, act lazy, and infuriate us. When we adults lose self-control and react without thinking, we shout or strike our children.  

This accomplishes nothing worthwhile; and rightly so—-as we are only exhibiting to our kids the very same behavior we want to discourage in our children. So, how can we parents ensure that our kids will meet our expectations and always do the right thing?  

Behavioral psychologists advocate that creative discipline really works. They have studied the parenting styles of happy, well-adjusted children whose parents have maintained peace and harmony in their household. A number of techniques have been identified with effective  practical solutions.  

Here are SEVEN proven creative ways to discipline your child:  

1-Change the environment  

Making some simple changes in the environment, works wonders! Mishaps do happen; on such occasions, practical solutions will do the trick. One example: Instead of “I’ve told you time and again not to eat sweets before dinner,” try hiding the sweets some place where your child will not be able to locate.  

2-Rehearse the problem  

By role-playing situations with children, we can teach them what to do or what not to do. Example you can tell your child: “You be the art teacher and I will be you.” By rehearsing this out, your child learns that the situation could have been handled differently, while you learn that it isn’t easy being a kid.

3-Teach to breathe easy  

Children can be taught to calm down by taking a few deep breaths. Siblings do fight and it’s hard to figure out who’s to blame. Instead of trying to figure out this dilemma, it’s best to help children by trying out simple breathing exercise together; this calms both sides considerably.  

4-Teach to take charge  

Children can be taught self- management’ skills—-important requisites to achieving goals. It teaches them increased productivity and better organization. It is worthwhile to remind children what they are supposed to do instead of constantly nagging them about what’s to be done.

5-Guide gently  

Gentle persuasion with children is far more effective than rough handling. Mental health professionals advocate the use of manual guidance to help change the child’s unwanted behavior. For example, if you see your child grabbing food from a plate, it’s best to move his hand back gently by saying “Good, I like to see your hands where they should be.” Gentleness is the key to avoiding any aggressive consequences in the child’s behavior.

6-Give timely signals  

Clear indications of what your expectations are from your children helps. Teach your children discrimination training. This means it’s O.K. for them to burst into your room when the door is ajar; but  not O.K. for them to barge in before knocking when the door is closed. The challenge is to let children know when certain types of behavior are O.K. for their parents.

7-Make a behavioral contract  

Another successful technique is the “behavioral contract.” This entails a pact between the child and parents to identify the Problem, Target behavior and Deal. For example, if you want your child’s room to be clean which is usually messy, the child needs to adopt Target behavior to have the room cleaned once a week. Under Deal, you could specify what your child is expected to do: clean room every Saturday. Then you can add what you as a parent would do in return. For example: Mum promises not to nag throughout the week and offer a choice of dessert for that day. In this way, a deal is struck and your child will not only be excited to sign the contract, but also honor it with the best of intentions.


It’s wise for parents to remember that they would do well to model the behavior they expect and want from their children.

If you watch television instead of finishing the household work, your child will most likely put off completing the home-work.

If you yell to get your way, it is most likely your children will do the same.

Finally one of the best ways to be a better parent is to learn better ways to handle stress. By doing so, you will be better equipped to handle your children effectively.

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Member Comments

    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Gool Bugwadia wrote Sep 15, 2009
    • Hello Fabulous Friends!

      You sure must be in the “swing” of things—-now that the schools have reopened. There’s so much to do and so many activities to catch up on. And to top it all, you find your child is not behaving as well as you think he/she should. Naturally, you are upset.

      Get your child to listen to you in creative ways; it’s really easy if you loosen up a bit and adapt yourself to follow the above simple 7 techniques.

      And don’t forget to share your views with all the Fabulous Parents here.

      Have a great day!

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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Carolpat wrote Sep 16, 2009
    • Gool,

      Such timely and wise advice.  I like the comments at the end of your article where you point out how our children model our own behavior.  That is so true.

      One cannot expect children to adopt values and behaviors that we do not exhibit ourselves.

      Kudos for this thought-provoking article.


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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Gool Bugwadia wrote Sep 17, 2009
    • Thank You so much Carol—-how sweet of you to take time to visit.  

      I have always admired your wisdom and practical approach to life.

      Appreciatively yours,

            Report  Reply

    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Katalin Goencz wrote Sep 18, 2009
    • I used to have one sure method. I gently promised my children to speak real loud in Hungarian (in public, such as grocery store) if they misbehave.

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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Gool Bugwadia wrote Sep 19, 2009
    • That’s a good one, Katalin. What a creative way to deal with this issue?

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