There has and always will be some sort of disciplining controversy when it comes to the proper way of reprimanding a child. Every set of parents has their own way of doing things. Some parents believe in spankings while others might use the time-out method or the taking away of toys and other items of importance from the child. This came to my attention when my own children started families of their own. Even though they are both excellent parents, their parenting methods are different as night and day. What works for one child may not work with another. Here are a few things I have learned along the way as a parent myself that may be helpful to others: Always carry through with the punishment instead of making idle threats. This teaches the child that he or she can only go so far with bad behavior. With idle threats, he or she will eventually realize they can do whatever they choose and nothing will be done about it. When using the spanking method, never do so when angry. This leads to more serious issues that are best avoided. Parents don't want to cause abuse, they just want to get the child's attention and hopefully teach a lesson as to what they did wrong. When using the time-out method, this could be putting them in the corner, putting them to bed or sitting on the couch for a certain period of time with no play time, toys or books. This does not have to be an all day thing but definitely more than five minutes.

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This helps the child to ponder what went wrong with his or her actions and what to do about it next time. Discipline does not need to occur at every wrongdoing. For example, if the child is older and is playing with another child and they start fighting over a toy, let them work it out, with parental supervision. The parent may suggest what to do in this situation but, overall, the children will learn to share and play together. This will teach them to either give up a toy or figure out a way for both to play with it. The most important part of disciplining that I learned is the aftermath. After the punishment has been administered and things are calmed down, parents can go to their child and talk to them about what they did wrong and why they were punished for it. This will help him or her learn what they can and cannot do. It will also teach them that, even though they made a mistake, their parents love them no matter what. Disciplining a child is probably the hardest part of parenting but also one of the most important. Teaching the child right from wrong at am early stage will definitely make it easier in the long run. It shows that the parents care enough about their children to teach them responsibility and consequences of their actions. It shows, above all else, unconditional love. (Have a question? Email michellerhodes72@gmail.com)