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The Whole Child, Issue #92 Effective Discipline: 13 Tips
July 08, 2013

Effective Discipline: 13 Tips

Read this newsletter online here: The Whole Child Issue #91

Greetings! Its been a while since I last published a newsletter. I am not going to admit just how long, but this is very overdue. My time and attention has been on a soon-to-be-published book on Homeschooling High School in South Africa, as well a updating and revamping our Footprints website.

Meanwhile, the clock has been ticking...

The topic for this month's ezine got so long that I converted it into an article for my website:

Preschool Discipline

This is usually a controversial topic, as we all think we know how to discipline children and we have strong opinions about how NOT to punish them!

So, lets try to begin on the "same page".

The very word DISCIPLINE probably means different things to different people reading this article.

  • To some, the first thought that comes to mind is punishment for disobedience,
  • for others it means obtaining control by enforcing compliance,
  • to others still it could mean training and instruction intended to produce a specific character or pattern of behavior or
  • it could mean a state of order after training.

Can you see that from the first to the last description above there is a change in how positively or negatively the word is viewed?

I always thought of discipline as punishment, until I learned that an important part of discipline is TRAINING and INSTRUCTION. As parents, our goal should be to train and instruct our children in right living so that they will eventually become self-governed and SELF-DISCIPLINED.

If we are able to train and instruct our little children effectively, we will have less need to punish them.

This article will focus on tips to teach and train our children well, rather than on how to punish children!

Click here to read 13 Tips for Preschool Discipline

Parenting Books

I have found the books listed below to be among the best of many that I have read on parenting. They are written from a Biblical worldview, but I am sure that no matter your religion, the principles of love and grace can be applied.

The books are not about religion, but about avoiding destructive behaviour in relationships while we discipline and train our children.

Each one of these has really helped me to grow in the way I parent my children, instead of just resorting to the 'default' pattern of

1.child's action
2. my reaction
3. punishment

...which can be very destructive rather than constructive, especially if anger and punishment are over-used!

We have to learn to understand our children's needs, respond to their actions appropriately and reach their hearts if we want to train them effectively.

I truly believe that just like we invest time and money in our career training, we should also invest in our own parenting education! The value and benefit to our children will be priceless.

How to Really Parent Your Child by Ross Campbell
Grace-based Parenting by Tim Kimmel
Parenting is Heart Work by Scott Turansky & Joanne Miller
Say Goodbye to Whining Complaining and Bad Attitudes in You AND Your Kids by Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller


1. I frequently get emails like this: "My child is [two, three, four, or five] years old, can I start teaching him yet? What should we be doing at this age?"

They say that "Play is the work of childhood." The articles listed on this page all explain how and why you should make learning experiences part of your everyday life, without the stress of a formal curriculum in the early years:

Relaxed Preschool Homeschooling

2. Preschool Homeschool Q & A

Read questions and answers or add your comments on topics such as

1. kids and computer time
2. slow developers
3. language of instruction in a bilingual home
4. child's TV addiction
5. homeschooling special needs ... and others

Check my website

The 4th of July has just passed, so you might like to check out this American Preschool Theme

In the chilly southern hemisphere its time for a Winter Preschool Theme

If you are in the northern hemisphere, enjoy the summer out of doors, visit parks, explore nature, let your children play in the sand or with water, make Giant Soap Bubbles and on a warm night you could stare at the stars and then make a Starry Night Glitter Collage

Till next time...


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