While the jury is still out on spanking your kids to deter them from bad behaviour, parents can all agree that ensuring they are well-behaved is important.

And while discipline comes in many forms, from being grounded, revoking of a privilege or time-out, it needs to be done in a way that reinforces your love for your child, while showing them the error of their ways.

Here are five tips on the best way to discipline your child:

  1. Explain right from wrong- Explain and teach your children right from wrong. Kids need to understand there are acceptable behavior and bad behavior. Especially now that parents are not around more often, you can  be clueless as to what your children do when you are not around.
  2. Explain consequences-its important that your children understand that there are repercussions for bad behavior. Be careful to explain to them in a language they understand and calmly. Also, be ready to follow through with consequences and not give in or feel pity. In addition, the punishment should be moderate and not too harsh. For example take away their favorite toy for the week if the become disorganized.
Image: Mother and child. (Source, Africanmum.com)

3. Listen- listening and being attentive to what your child is saying is not only a good start to good parenting but also helps maintain a healthy relationship with them. Also, be attentive to recurring misbehaviors and stop them before they grow into something bigger.

4. Compliment good behavior- Catch your child when they do something good or are in their best behavior and point it out or praise them. Be specific in their praise. For example, "You did a good job in putting your toys away, very good boy"

5. Call a time out- This can be very helpful when a rule is broken. It acts as a warning that they will get a time out if they do not stop. For example, you can tell them to go think about what they have done and come back and apologize. Remember to be gentle and sensitive and not use a language that is too harsh.

Feature image: Dad disciplining  child. (Source,huffingtonpost.ca)