Discipline Techniques (Denise Witmer) Denise Witmer

Parenting is not a direct science. There are no specific steps that will always produce a certain result. There are too many variables and not enough controls. Any parenting technique or skill may not work with your family’s dynamic. Or, they may work one time, but not another.

Therefore, when you make a mistake in your discipline, you need to fall back and regroup. Learn how by using these tips:

  1. Drop the guilt. When you realize you’ve made a mistake, chalk it up to the fact that there is no parenting manual. Many parents exasperate the mistake they have made by dwelling in the guilt of it. If you tend to do this, take a deep breath and realize that you weren’t made to be perfect. Go through the next four steps and you will feel better.
  2. Apologize to your teenager. This will teach them that mistakes happen and that you respect them enough to admit you were the one who made the mistake. It will model appropriate behavior for when they make their next mistake.
  3. Take some time to rethink the situation. Go over what happened and think about what you could have changed. What part of the problem do you own? What part of the problem does your teenager own? Ask for advice and do some research.
  4. Develop a plan of action. Now that you know where the mistake was, have gotten some advice or information on what to do, you are ready to think through a plan of action so this problem doesn’t occur again. Ask your teen for their input.
  5. Change the behavior that caused the mistake by implementing your plan of action.



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