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Top 5 Tips for Disciplining Children

Hi It’s Tosi here,

As a childcare expert, I always get asked about discipline and children. I believe in the bible, so I am a firm believer in spare the rod, spoil the child. Parents need to learn to discipline their children appropriately. As the children get older, it becomes tougher and it is unfair to the child. Parents do their children a BIG disservice by letting them roam wild.

I remember my childhood days in Lagos, Nigeria at University of Lagos staff school. There was one teacher Mrs. Ugboma. If you acted up in school, you always knew she would discipline you. You were made to carry your chair on your head for hours, knee down in a corner (her version of timeout), or if you were really bad, you would get spanked. While some forms of her punishment maybe viewed as extreme, it made us understand their are rules and ways to behave in school. It also taught us that they are consequences for every action. We were taught to respect authority, respect our elders, our teachers, and most importantly our parents. If your Mom or Dad said sit down, you sat down. No questions asked 🙂

Top 5 Tips for Disciplining Children.

1. Be FIRM about Respect. Explain to your children, that when they go out in public and especially at home, they have to be respectful to others and to themselves. They should not interrupt you when you are talking to another adult, they should learn how and why it is important to be respectful.

2. Use Time Out effectively. Explain the reason for the timeout, the duration, and the future behavior expected after the timeout.

3. Consistency is key.  Children are creatures of habit. If you say 9pm is bedtime. Stick to 9pm, not 9:05pm or 9:01pm. Make sure you are consistent in your actions with your children. If you say 9pm and it ends up being 10pm, your words lose value.

4. Praise good behavior. Sing their praises when they behave well. For instance, if you take your child to a restaurant and he behaves well, make sure you reward him by praising his behavior. You can say, “I am so proud of you. You behaved so well in the restaurant. I can’t wait to take you out with me again. You are such a good boy…”

5. Find out the root cause. I always say children act out when they are hurting, or sad, or want to get your attention as a parent. Take the time to talk to your child and understand why he/she feels the need to display inappropriate behavior. Listen without interruption and without judgment.

 Hope this helps,


About Tosi:  Tosi Ufodike is the Founder of My Good Nanny, the leading caregiver placement agency for cultural nannies, babysitters, and elderly care providers. Connect with her on twitter: @mrsufodike.

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