Parenting can sometimes feel like a roller coaster ride, with its share of ups, downs, and thrills. For many parents, one of the most daunting tasks of raising a child is implementing discipline.

Understanding Discipline The term “discipline” is derived from the Latin word ‘disciplinare,’ which means ‘to teach.’ According to Kerry Skinner, an Educational Psychologist and Clamber Club Expert, teaching a child the difference between acceptable and unacceptable behaviour requires empathy, patience, energy, creativity, and a variety of useful discipline techniques.

Importance of Boundaries Children learn about boundaries at home, which helps them understand socially acceptable behaviour. Skinner suggests emphasising cause and effect, praising good behaviour, and working with your child to choose better behaviours.

African parent discussing discipline with her young child

Finding Balance Research shows that children whose parents provide firm but loving discipline are generally more skilled socially and do better at school. The authoritative parenting style, which emphasizes ‘emotional coaching,’ encourages both parents and children to recognize and express feelings while setting firm boundaries.

The ABCs of Discipline The ABC approach to positive discipline, based on the work of Garry Landreth, involves:

  • Acknowledging a child’s feelings or wants.
  • Creating boundaries for behaviour or actions.
  • Offering choices and consequences.

Choosing Consequences The consequences of a child’s actions depend on factors like age, nature of the behaviour, and parental beliefs. Skinner suggests using consistent, fair, and developmentally appropriate discipline methods.

About Clamber Club Clamber Club is a sensory and perceptual motor learning program that encourages movement, play, and exercise in babies, toddlers, and young pre-school children. Learn more at our website .

Clamber Club thanks Kerry Skinner (Educational Psychologist) for the contribution to this blog.