Child Discipline Methods

Learn the most effective child discipline methods and parenting tips including positive behavior supports and how to deal with toddler behavioral problems. Regardless of whatever consequences you choose to give, it takes disciplining yourself as a parent to consistently follow through for at least two weeks to really see results. Unfortunately, so many parents give up before then! I can tell you up front, parenting is hard and takes effort. There isn’t an easy road to take as the MOST IMPORTANT aspect of responding to behaviors is to be CONSISTENT. With that being said, I completely understand that this is SO HARD when you are trying to get things done and simply involved in activities that make it almost impossible at times. So, the best way to start is working on things at home in a more controlled environment, then carry those techniques to more public environments. 

Child discipline time out in the corne

What you have to decide as a parent is not only what child discipline methods work best for your children, but also what works best for you. You want the method to be something you are able to do consistently that truly creates an impact without making them feel bad about themselves. It's all about creating a learning experience.

This does not include spanking, using a discipline paddle or any other item. These methods are not recommended, especially considering the studies that come out on a regular basis that link them to depression, aggressive behavior in children, and other mental health concerns.

So, I am going to discuss with you some different options to consider and you can decide what you think will succeed for you. Again, what’s most important is to remain consistent, follow through on your words, and when both parents are involved – be on the same page and work together as a team. Discuss these options together when making a decision.

Child Discipline Methods Using Time Out

One useful method is time out for toddlers and older kids. This can be used for a toddler starting at about 18 months old or older children up to about 9 or 10 years old. When doing time outs, it’s important to understand it can take a lot of effort at first getting them to stay in the spot, but persistence will pay off.

A time out should be no more than one minute per year old and can vary in place depending on the individual. For an 18 month old, you may choose to use a play pen or booster seat with a seat belt. Older children can have a designated chair in the corner, mat or a step. Learn more about this technique at the link above.

Losing Privileges

Another child discipline method would be losing privileges, such as the ability to watch TV, play video games, or use the computer. Taking away toys is another possibility, but would require taking away those that are considered to be the most valuable in order to be effective. 

One of the negatives to taking away toys or losing privileges may be that your children are going to be less able to entertain themselves. This also may not be as effective with kids younger than 2 or 3 that aren’t able to entirely understand, unless the behavior is related to the toy/privilege. For example, if misusing a toy then it is fitting to remove it from their possession for a period of time. If having a temper tantrum because they have to stop watching TV, then you may not allow TV for the remainder of the day.

How to Discipline for Toddlers

Although child discipline methods can be considered punishment in a negative sense, it doesn’t have to be. Simply providing consequences to behavior as a way to change those behaviors is important to start at an early age. For young children, this can mean taking away a toy that is misused or removing them from an environment in which they are failing to behave. You can learn more about specifically responding to toddler behavior problems by clicking the link above as this will differ from methods used for older children. 

Spanking a Child- Using a Discipline Paddle

Although, 32 nations around the world have banned the use of corporal punishment for kids as a method of child discipline, it still remains legal in the United States and Canada. Despite growing research that shows the negative impact it can have on children approximately half of the US population recalls being spanked in childhood. Perhaps, this is because many parents have not learned other more effective ways of how to discipline children. Should you choose to use this as your method of disciplining kids? Check out the link above and then decide for yourself.


Using the child discipline methods provided may or may not be appropriate for children with autism, sensory processing disorder or Down syndrome. Parents and professionals have to take into consideration the cognitive abilities underlying causes of misbehaving.

If the behaviors are the result of being in an environment that causes over-stimulation, such as loud noises, bright lights, or crowds of people, your response should be tailored to that individual based on their needs. Working with them on replacement behaviors, such as appropriate communication of wants and needs is a better option than strict consequences. However, it is important to consider whether lack of communication is the underlying cause of certain behaviors. If needs are not being met, children are more likely to act out and misbehave. 


If you haven't already, be sure to download my free eBook with the best tips and techniques for helping all children by clicking the image below!