23 February 2024 Discipline Done Right: A Smart and Healthy Approach to Parenting

Are you struggling to discipline your child? We know it can be a challenge, but it's important to learn how to discipline them in a smart and healthy way. Firstly, it is important to understand that discipline is not just about punishment. It is about teaching children how to make good choices and develop self-control. 

“Discipline is helping a child solve a problem. Punishment is making a child suffer for having a problem. To raise problem solvers, focus on solutions, not retribution.”

― L.R. Knost, the author of ‘The Gentle Parent: Positive, Practical, Effective Discipline’. 


The way in which discipline is carried out has an impact on a child's emotional and mental well-being. Hence, parents need to understand the importance of having healthy ways to discipline your child. And here are some tips for parents to do that:

1. Positive reinforcement

Positive reinforcement means rewarding good behavior, rather than punishing bad behavior. It is important to acknowledge and praise your child when they do something positive. This can include anything from saying "thank you" when they share or showing excitement when they complete a task.

Research by Hardy & McLeod (2020) shows that kids are more likely to behave in a desired way when they get praised for doing something right, whether it's following a rule or sharing a toy. The best way to reinforce positive behavior is to praise the behavior, not the kid's character. You can point out positive things about your child's concern for others – such as asking if their friend is all right – by mentioning how much the recipient appreciated their kindness. 

2. Set clear expectation

Children need structure and predictability in their lives. When parents provide clear rules and expectations, children are more likely to follow them. It is important to communicate these expectations clearly and consistently so that children know what is expected of them. 

Professor Cluver, the Professor of Child and Family Social Work stressed that telling your child what to do is more effective than telling them what not to do. When you ask a child to not make a mess, they may not understand what you're asking. Clear instructions like “Please put all your toys in the box” set a clear expectation and make it more likely for them to comply. 

3. Modelling good behaviour

Children are highly observant and tend to imitate the behaviours they see in their parents. Children would pick up your emotions and vibes as they grow up. Thus, it is important for you to set a positive example for your children. This means consistently demonstrating desirable behaviours such as respect, kindness, honesty, responsibility, and empathy to your children. If you model healthy behaviors, children are more likely to follow suit. For example, if you want your child to speak respectfully to others, it is important to speak respectfully to your child and others around you. 

“Parents who discipline their child by discussing the consequences of their actions produce children who have better moral development, compared to children whose parents use authoritarian methods and punishment.”

― Simon Baron-Cohen, British clinical psychologist

4. Maintain a strong connection with your child

Always have a connection before correction. Yelling at children when they behave badly cuts off your connection with your children. Discipline should not be a punitive or isolating experience. Instead, it should be a way to help children learn and grow while maintaining a strong connection with their parents. Instead of yelling or scolding, try to listen to your child and understand the root cause of their misbehaviour. Communicate with your child throughout the disciplinary process, listen to their feelings and concerns. This helps them develop the skills and tools they need to make positive choices. 

Finally, it is important to recognize that discipline is not a one-size-fits-all approach. Every child is different and may respond differently to different disciplinary techniques. Thus, it is important to understand the underlying causes of misbehavior, so that parents can address the root of the problem and help their child learn to manage their emotions and behavior more effectively. 

Each child possesses innate personality traits that are reflected in their behavior, and it is important for parents to understand these traits to effectively interact with them. To learn more on your child's personality traits, check out our Decode Talent DNA Test where you can unleash your child’s inborn personality!



Hardy, J. K., & McLeod, R. H. (2020). Using positive reinforcement with young children. Beyond Behavior29(2), 95-107. doi:10.1177/1074295620915724. 

Morin, A. (2021, June 20). 5 Positive Discipline Techniques to Try. Retrieved March 17, 2023, from https://www.verywellfamily.com/examples-of-positive-discipline-1095049#citation-4 

UNICEF. (2022, December 12). How to discipline your child the smart and healthy way. Retrieved March 17, 2023, from https://www.unicef.org/romania/stories/how-discipline-your-child-smart-and-healthy-way

Rupali, A. (2021, January 6). 4 Effective ways to Discipline Children in a Smart & Healthy Way. Retrieved March 17, 2023, from https://www.alphamontessoridfw.com/blog/discipline-child-without-punishment/