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You are here : home > Raising Children > Behavioral Problems > 7 Common Disciplinary Mistakes Parents make

7 Common Disciplinary Mistakes Parents Make

There are some common mistakes that parents makes while disciplining children. Often their attempts to discipline their kids backfire, leading to more mistakes in the form of shouting, threatening and so on. Learn which are the most common disciplinary mistakes and how parents can fix them.


As a parent not only do you have to pay attention to your child’s behaviour, but you also have to keep a check on how you behave with your child. Children look up to and imitate what their parents do. So, if you shout when upset, your child will learn to do the same. However, fixing your parenting mistakes can help you raise a disciplined and well behaved child.

7 Mistakes most Parents make in Disciplining their Kids:

  1. Using ‘No’ or ‘Don’t’ Often – Moms usually give instructions to their kids in negative tones. Often it becomes necessary to say no to kids. But when possible, avoid saying no.  Why tell kids what not to do? Tell them what they should do instead! Too much use of the word ‘no’ can lower the importance of the word. Use ‘No’ too often, and your child will begin to view the world as negative and begin to think that he has to be aggressive to get what he wants. It is important to strike the right balance in the amount of times you say ‘No’ and ‘Yes’ to your child.

  2. Setting Unreasonably High ExpectationsParenting in public is one situation which causes even the best of parents to fumble in. You may expect your child to sit quietly in a restaurant but he may be unable to understand that. Do not simply order him to be quiet. He will not understand. The better course of action would be to explain that you are quiet and talking in a softer tone of voice because you are in a restaurant and other people get disturbed. It will take time and patience but it will help your child better understand how to behave in different situations.

  3. Warnings with Vague Consequences – If you have asked your child to stop watching the TV and he does not do that, do not use vague warnings such as – “I’m very serious this time”, or “You have had it, if you don’t listen to me!” Spell out clear consequences of misbehaviour such as, “I will unplug the TV for a week” or “No chocolate for a month” and so on.  However, set clear limits and let your child know what exactly you expect him to do in a positive tone before resorting to such warnings.

  4. Time - Outs – Time outs are proven methods of helping your child know what is acceptable about his behaviour and what not. Remember, you have to be very particular and insistent at this point. Ensure that your child doesn’t misconstrue time-outs as just a punishment. Encourage your child to think about his behaviour and why what he did was wrong and unacceptable behaviour.

  5. Discipline out of Frustration – Parents tend to decide when to discipline their kids based on how tired and frustrated they themselves are. There are times when are simply exhausted and want some quiet time but your kids decide that it is the best time to run around the house playing catch! You shout at them and insist that they sit down and play with their toys quietly. What was the disciplinary lesson that they learnt from this? Nothing! Try to stay calm and if safety is not the issue, do not pay attention to what your child is doing. After all they need some time to explore and experiment around. If you simply cannot stand too much noise, explain that you are tired and would love some peace, and would they please consider playing with their toys and play catch later? This not only gives you the peace and quiet you need, but also teaches kids to be respectful of you and your moods.

  6. Not Disciplining According to Each Child’s Nature – This is the biggest mistakes parents make. They think that any disciplinary action that works with one child will work with all. You should understand your child as an individual. If one child is understanding by nature, a verbal reminder to behave maybe enough. But if his sibling is more aggressive, she might need to have her TV rights revoked to get the message across. However, it is also important to ensure that you do not get very strict with one child and lenient with another while doing this. The punishment should not only fit your child’s nature, but also the level of misbehaviour!

  7. Don’t Practice what they Preach – Often parents behave in a manner that they would never want their children to behave. The next time something does not go your way, do not shout or yell. If you do so, pause and apologize so that your child knows that it was a mistake and that you are aware of it. Children may not listen to what you say, but they definitely notice how you behave. Therefore, if your child is acting out, pay attention to your behaviour – you may have inadvertently caused his misbehaviour.


What do you think are the common mistakes most parents make in disciplining their kids? What mistakes have you made while attempting to discipline your kids? How do you think parents should discipline their children? Discuss here.

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11 Comments
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Varsha.3 years ago
Perfect guidelines that parents should not make while disciplining kids...
 
 
 
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Riya.3 years ago
Refraining from any bad words or actions would be the best tip for any parent who wants to discipline their kids.
 
 
 
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Payal.3 years ago
They observe us more closely than anyone. Setting a good example is important to discipline our kids both consciously and unconsciously.
 
 
 
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.3 years ago
WE SHOULD NEVER SAY ANY BAD WORD & NEGATIVE THING IN FORNT OF OUR KIDS.
 
 
 
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Mukesh.3 years ago
Teach the child common sense in his early ages. . Then after that they need not worry about his character. .
Also children feel excited when the parents are more friendly. .
 
 
 
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Jahnavi.3 years ago
A very nice article. We parents really make such mistakes while parenting. How we behave is reflected by the kids. This article is very helpful as it will help me in becoming a better parent. Keep it up.
 
 
 
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Sharvani.3 years ago
I feel that most common mistake that parents make is having high expectations. It literally makes the child feel suffocated. A child should be allowed to be himself. Restrictions can affect the self esteem.
 
 
 
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Komal GB.3 years ago
indeed a very good article. I realized the importance of all this only when my way of disciplining went wrong. I always used to shout at my kids and then suddenly I noticed, they had a habit of shouting at each other and also at others. Now I am trying to change myself for the better.
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