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3 Discipline Tips for Character – How to Discipline Kids without Criticism

By Jean Tracy, MSS

Would you like 3 parenting tips on how to discipline without criticism? You can stop being your child's critical judge and start building character now. Look inside to find out how.

I've done my share of criticizing. It didn't help me or build character in my children. I knew I had to stop and I did. Today I'll share how you can stop criticizing too, but first let's look at why criticism is such a poor way to discipline.

Discipline Tips for Parents – What's Wrong with Criticism?

Take yourself for example. Did your parents criticize you? If so, were you grateful because you understood they meant it for your own good? Or did you feel:


1. Ashamed because you failed again
2. Guilty because you disappointed them
3. Angry because no matter how hard you tried, you couldn't please them

Criticism is like corrosive acid. It eats away at your child's confidence. It eats away at your child's initiative. And, without confidence and initiative, your child stops trying. He fears making mistakes. He fears your criticism.

Realize that your child goes inside his head, just like you did when you were a child, and thinks thoughts like:


1. I didn't do it on purpose. Dad's such a grouch.
2. She's always mad at me. I can't stand listening to her.
3. I wish I had different parents.

I know you love your child. I know you regret criticizing. And I know you don't want these outcomes for your child either. So what can you do instead of criticizing?

3 Parenting Tips - How to Discipline without Criticism:

Because you're a rational person, you can pause and think. Make character building your goal.

First Parenting Tip - use your rational mind to calm your feelings about your child's behavior. Tell yourself truthful thoughts like:


A. She didn't do it just to frustrate me.
B. She'll shut me out if I keep criticizing.
C. I'll talk to her later after I've calmed down and thought things through.

Second Parenting Tip – think of better ways to talk about the problem like:


A. Please clean up your snacks before I fix dinner.
B. When you leave your toys scattered in the house and go out to play, I feel irritated. Please pick them up now.
C. Ask your child, "How can you make this situation better?"

Notice, there was no name calling or put downs. You didn't whine, nag, yell, or lecture either. The first statement spoke directly. The second expressed your feeling. The third asked your child to come up with a solution. Why not mix and match these suggestions when you're calm and ready to speak.

Third Parenting Tip – look for ways to praise.

Criticism sticks its finger in the eye of openness and clamps it shut. Praise opens your child's heart to look for ways to please. When there's no problem to solve, use specific praise. Why specific praise? You'll want your child to know you mean it. He'll know when you tie it to something he did well like:


A. I like how you (cleaned up after your snacks today.)
B. I'm pleased that you (picked up your toys before going out to play.)
C. You played so well (with your little brother this afternoon. No wonder he looks up to you.)


Conclusion: 3 Parenting Tips - How to Discipline without Criticism

Criticism is like course sandpaper scraping away at your child's self esteem. Praise is the flowing of a gentle brook, beautiful to hear and nourishing to your child's self esteem.

You have a rational mind. You can turn the sandpaper into a gentle brook. You can control your feelings. You have the power to discipline without criticism. You know how to praise and build character too.

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Feel free to use this article in your newsletters, magazines, and blogs as long as you include the information below:

Pick up Discipline Tips for Parents with 41 specific solutions for 41 common behaviors. If you do, you'll get the love and respect you deserve. You'll be raising children with character too.

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