The main purpose of discipline is to teach children age appropriate behavior and self-control. Bright Tots - Information on child development - Autism information.
Teaching Children Self-Control
The main purpose of discipline is to teach children age appropriate behavior and self-control. Children require freedom to grow
and to learn, but they will not succeed on unrestricted liberty. The goal of discipline is to set reasonable limits which protect
children from harm and teach them what is safe and what is not. If children are to grow up into acceptable in our society. They
must also learn to respect the rights and property of others.

Children brought up without discipline may become selfish, greedy, dishonest, disliked, uncooperative and insecure.
Undisciplined children constantly demand attention. They may be inconsiderate or disrespectful to others. Some are destructive,
aggressive, and rude. A child allowed to disobey without punishment is unlikely to develop much respect for rules as he/she
grows older.
Although it is impossible to describe rules for discipline that are appropriate for every situation, some principles are well

•        Your child needs your LOVE more than anything else.
•        You should use discipline to teach your child.
•        You should not discipline your child before he or she is old enough to understand the reason for the punishment.
•        You should not punish your child for behavior that is part of normal development, such as thumb sucking, speech
development, or accidents that occur during toilet training.
•        You should not punish your child for anything that is accidental.
•        Both parents should be consistent in the disciplining.
•        You should explain to your child, in language that he or she can understand, why the unacceptable behavior must be
•        You should not deny your child of essentials, such as food, as a form of punishment.
•        Do not subject your child to excessive physical punishment.
•        You should make as few rules as necessary and make them simple to understand.
•        You should be a good role model for your child.

Parents are Behavior Role Models

Children who are often in trouble usually suffer from too little affection, rather than too little punishment. The responsibility for
starting the child in the right path belongs to the parents. Parents must serve as good examples for their children. Attitudes and
behaviors of the children can be anticipated to be similar to those of the parents.

Children learn best from repetition, practice, and example; lecturing is less effective. The age at which punishment is appropriate
depends on the intelligence and maturity of the child. Punishment, when required, should be immediate and unavoidable. The
penalty should be specified in advance and should be strictly enforced. The form of punishment should be appropriate to the
seriousness of the misconduct and to the child's age. After a child has been punished, it is important to reassure the child that he
or she is still loved and an important member of the family and that the wrongdoing has been forgiven.

Disciplinary Methods for Children

Rules should be as few and clear as possible, but they should be strictly and always implemented. Rules must be appropriate to
the age of the child. The child must understand that a particular punishment is automatically executed for specific unacceptable
behaviors. Threats that the parent does not intend to carry out should always be avoided.

There are many types of disciplinary methods. Rewards reinforce good behavior. Rewards may take the form of a smile, verbal
praise, special attention, special activities, hugs, extra privileges, or material benefits. Positive reinforcement is more effective
than punishment. Punishment is useful to stop inappropriate behavior. Punishment includes verbal disapproval, a frown, ignoring
harmless behavior, temporary isolation, temporary removal of a privilege, or spanking. Attempts to tease or shame children will
cause them to feel inferior and helpless and should be avoided.

Many find that the "time-out technique" is often successful for discipline. When your child misbehaves, take him or her to a
quiet, safe room, such as a bedroom. Tell your child that he or she must remain alone for a set period of time. Limit the time-out
to one minute for each year of the child's age. (For example, a 3-year-old should sit out for no longer than 3 minutes.) Do not
talk to the child during the time out. After each time-out, welcome your child back into the family circle. It is important to show
your child that he or she has been forgiven. For a time-out to be effective there must also be family time. Make sure you
regularly tell and show your child that he/she is loved.

Teaching Self-Control Skills

It is important to choose age-appropriate goals for children who are learning self-control, try simple goals first, where success is
expected, and one goal at a time. For preschool children, appropriate goals might include not interrupting or not fighting with
siblings. For early elementary school children, appropriate goals might include obeying with bedtime rules or showing anger
appropriately (instead of hitting or screaming). Some common strategies that often help children learn appropriate self-control
behaviors include:

• Take a break: Encourage children to “take a break” or a “time out” from a situation where they are feeling angry or upset.

• Teach and provide attention: Children can learn to resist interrupting others by learning how to observe when others are not
talking, so that they can join in appropriately. Be sure to provide children with attention at appropriate times so that they are not
“starved” for attention and more likely to not interrupt improperly.

• Use appropriate rewards: Children need consistent, positive feedback to learn appropriate behavior. Praise and attention are
highly rewarding for young children, as is special time with a parent. Be sure your child knows what behaviors are acceptable.

• Use specific activities designed to teach self-control: Parents can help teach even young children (ages 5–8 years) the skills that
promote self-control, using activities such as those that follow rules. These skills include dealing with “wanting something they
can’t have,” understanding feelings, and controlling anger.

In order for children to gain control of their behavior when they are experiencing strong feelings, they must know how to
identify their feelings. It is never too early to talk to children about feelings or to help them see the link between feelings and
behavior. Connecting these together shows how our feelings can affect the choices we make, and it can also improve children’s


1. Punishment occurs too frequently.
2. You are losing control of your child.
3. You are losing control of your own temper.
Print this page
Teaching Children Self-Control
Autism Diets     Autism Information     Developmental Disorders     Parenting Issues

Resource Home


Baby Tooth Decay

Behavioral Disorders

Child Safety Tips

Disorders Home

Early Intervention

FMLA for Parents

Learning Disability

Parenting Issue

Preschool Special Ed.

Parenting Help

Speech Disorders

Weight Concern


Asperger's Syndrome

Childhood Disintegrative

Early Signs of Autism

(Repetitive Speech)

Fragile X


Low Functioning Autism
(Classic Autism)

Pervasive Developmental

Rett Syndrome

Savant Syndrome

Semantic Pragmatic Disorder
For more information and articles on autism visit:
Choosing the Right Toy for :
Babies      Toddlers      Preschool
World of Autism

What is Autism?  Frequently asked questions on autism - What causes autism?  What is Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA
Therapy)?  Autism Diagnosis - What are the Types of Autism, What are the signs of Autism?  Medications used in
treatment of Autism - A Genetic Clue to Why Autism Affects Boys More - Autism and Vaccines - 1 in 68 Children
affected with Autism - Autism: To Cure or Not to Cure - Speech and Language Problems in Autism Spectrum Disorders -
Research Points to Genetic Link in Autism - Challenges Siblings of Children with Autism Face.

Autism Articles

Inspirational uplifting news articles on Autism / The Downside of Autism in the News
Mom Wins Fight for Autism Insurance
Bright Tots ~ Information on childhood developmental disorders, including autism, attention deficit disorder (ADHD),
behavior disorders, bipolar disorder, cerebral palsy, childhood disintegrative disorder, depression in children, diabetes in
children, down syndrome, emotional disorders, obsessive compulsive disorder , selective mutism, separation anxiety
disorder, speech and language disorders and spina bifida.

Resources, articles and information on autism including Asperger's syndrome, assessing autism, autism and tantrums,
autism in childhood, autism therapies, characteristics of autism, discipline strategies, early signs of autism, echolalia,
fragile x, hyperlexia / dyslexia, immunization worries, oral care and autism, pervasive developmental disorders (PDD), Rett
syndrome, savant syndrome, and more...

developmental disorders - Find Early Intervention in your area.

Information and articles on
autism therapy and autism treatment including: ABA therapy, autism diets, chelation therapy,
cognitive behavior therapy, key to learning, medications for treating autism, play therapy, occupational therapy, physical
therapy, sensory integration, signed speech, speech therapy, TEACCH Method and more...

What is a learning disability? What are developmental domains? Tips on teaching a child with autism, age appropriate
behavior (milestones), parenting rules, oral care and autism, baby tooth decay, is your child over weight? For those hard to
understand terms, visit our

Bright Tots - Helpful information for picking the right toy for Babies, Toddlers and Preschool kids
What to look for in developmental baby, toddler and preschool toys. Read on the importance of choosing the right
educational baby toys, educational toddler toys, educational preschool toys that will

"Make Learning Fun"

Choosing the right Baby Toys | Toddler Toys | Preschool Toys | Special Needs
Autism Resources

Autism Home

ABA Therapy

Assessing Autism

Autism Diets

Autism Treatments

Autistic Behaviors

Characteristics of

Cognitive Behavior

Early Intervention

Early Signs of Autism

Keys to Learning

Learning to Learn

Medication and Autism

Myths of Autism

Occupational Therapy

Parenting Rules

Physical Therapy

Sensory Integration

Teaching Play Skills

Shopping Tips:

Shopping Resources

Baby Toy Guide

Toddler Toy Guide

Preschool Toy Guide

Sp. Needs Toy Guide

*the links below will open in
a new browser*

About Us

Contact Us


Info Page

Privacy Policy

Link Partners

Link Exchange