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As parents, we all can say that our discipline efforts backfire on us occasionally and some battles with our kids are just not worth fighting. We need to learn how to avoid the discipline land mines.

The first mistake parents usually do is lying. A mother says that her daughter fights every time she takes her to the babysitter’s house. Once, she told her daughter to choose between the babysitter’s house and the caveman’s daycare. Of course, her daughter gets scared from the daycare and thought that all daycare centers are run by cavemen. It is really a big problem if she ever has to take her daughter to a daycare.

Little lies and scare tactics are tempting and can help temporarily, but they do come back to bite you. So, it is best to be honest and try empathizing instead of lying.

A surefire way that makes your kids never listen to you is to threaten without acting. When you tell your kid to stop throwing sand otherwise you will get him out of the sandbox, he will keep doing it knowing that you do not act according to your threat.

When you give a warning and your kid does it again, an immediate consequence is required like a time- out. If he repeats it, take him home. Next time, he will pay more attention to your warning with a gentle reminder saying “I hope we will not go home early today again”.

Sometimes, one of the parents undermines the efforts of the other. For example, a mother tells her kids to behave or they will not get a treat, unfortunately her husband gives them the treat even if they do not behave. A united front from both parents is needed to make your child behave better, and it prevents that either parent would feel like the bad guy.

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