When discussing Discipline, I use a tool I developed called the Discipline Flow Chart. It covers 6 steps:
- Prevent Behavior Problems
- When a problem begins, decide whether intervention is needed. (Pick your battles.)
- Instead of telling your child “Don’t Do X” or “Stop Y”, tell them what TO DO. A young child is often not able to think of alternatives, so tell them a positive action to take, and that’s often all you need do.
- If the problem is escalating, or is already at the point where more direct intervention is needed, let your child know a) what the problem is, and b) what the consequences will be if the problem continues.
- If the problem is at the point where immediate intervention is needed (especially if there’s imminent risk of harm to someone or something), then immediately enforce consequences: either remove the child from the situation, or remove the problematic item from the child.
- Move on. Let your child know that you still love them, but that their behavior was not OK, and you won’t let them do it now or in the future. Give a hug, and let it go.
Students asked for a poster to summarize this, so here’s the Discipline Flow Chart Mini Poster. I also have posters I hang in class, and students asked for a mini version of the discipline tools posters