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Being a parent can be a very rewarding experience. You want to be able to teach your kids about the world and pass down the things that you value the most.

As amazing as parenthood can be, it’s important to understand that it’s also going to be difficult sometimes. There will be days when your children won’t behave as well as you want them to. It can be depressing to see your kids lash out.

For some parents, it’s tough to figure out how to handle situations like this. While many parents have a good understanding of how to discipline children, others struggle. Are you having a hard time disciplining a child? Keep reading to get important advice that might help you out.

Explain to Your Kids What They Did Wrong

how to discipline a child
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Explaining to your kids what they did wrong is more important than some people realize. Kids won’t always understand that the actions that they’re taking are inherently wrong unless you teach them.

For example, you’ll need to explain why saying something mean to someone is wrong to do. When you take the time to explain why that hurts the other person, your child is going to be less likely to want to do something bad like that again.

Always tell your kids why you’re disappointed that they behaved poorly. They should understand why their actions were bad so that they can consider things better in the future.

Being a parent is largely about teaching your kids and ensuring that they grow up with good hearts. Punishing kids without teaching them might not be that helpful.

Listen to Why Your Kids Chose to Act Out

advice for disciplining a child
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Sometimes it’s prudent to take the time to listen to your kids as well. A child will sometimes do something wrong, but they might have a reason for doing what they did. There is some value to taking the time to listen to what your kids have to say. Your kid could have chosen to hit another child because the child in question made fun of them.

It certainly isn’t acceptable to hit someone else. However, it also isn’t right for people to make fun of others. You need to explain that both of them were wrong while ensuring that your child knows that violence isn’t an appropriate response.

If you teach your kids how to properly respond to a situation like this, then they won’t be as likely to have unnecessary physical altercations moving forward. Even if your instincts tell you to get mad immediately, it can sometimes be wise to stay calm and listen before deciding what to do.

Come Up with Reasonable Punishments for Bad Behavior

how to discipline your child
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Of course, children do have to be punished in some way when they do things that they’re not supposed to do. Come up with punishments that you think are appropriate given the way that the child behaved. You don’t want to punish the child in ways that will scar them. For example, many people have stopped physically punishing kids by spanking them since it can be such a traumatic experience.

It might make more sense to take away privileges for a certain amount of time. A punishment should help children to understand that there are negative consequences when someone breaks rules. If you don’t punish your kids at all, they won’t have an incentive to be good. It’s up to you to decide what’s right to do as a parent.

Get Professional Advice

advice for child discipline
credit: Alex Reen

If your kids are acting up and you don’t know how to handle them, then it might be prudent to seek professional advice. BetterHelp has some great articles and resources to help you better equip yourself as a parent to deal with challenging parenting moments. They understand what you’re going through and will be able to give you good advice that will help you to handle kids when they’re going through difficult phases.

You’ll also be able to reach out when you just need help with stress and anxiety. It’s normal to feel anxious about things as a parent. Having someone to talk to makes a difference, and you can learn how to cope with anxiety effectively. Consider reaching out and talking to an online therapist today if you think that you could use the help.

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