'What's wrong with punishment?' you may wonder. Well, punishment is costly. It results in kids feeling badly, both about themselves and about you. And is it effective? Not very. What's worse is that whatever you focus on not wanting, you'll get more of. The more you insist that they "don't do that," the more likely they will do it again. Help! My Kids Are Spoiled Brats
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If you add a threat, like, "Don't do that again or I'll …," your odds of gaining compliance decrease even further. So what's another way to think about discipline? Try focusing on the root inside of the word. Discipline comes from the same root as disciple. What's a disciple? Someone you teach, hopefully in a kind way! So, try these 4 alternatives to punishing your kids:
1. Prevention If you don't want kids to get fussy, feed them every few hours and make sure they get enough sleep. Most misbehavior comes from kids being tired and hungry. Prevention is a far easier solution than having to deal with after-the-fact irritation when they get grumpy or aggressive.
Prevention also includes such things as bringing activities or singing on a car trip; the children won't get bored, effectively lowering the chance of leading to future negative behavior.
What if you want to talk on the phone? First, set your child up with an engaging activity, then launch your phone conversation.
One of the best methods of prevention is building routines for transitions. Routines prevent arguments.
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For instance, ring a dinner bell or call just once when dinner is ready. Practice it, and add an incentive when you first start a routine to get it established. An incentive might be a chocolate M&M on the plate of each child that appears after you count to three, after the dinner bell rings. Once you've established a routine for whatever situations once led to arguments, your life and your children's lives becomes far easier.
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