"Be careful to keep your promises to children, whether they be to reward or punish. A child soon learns whether a parent means to do what is promised."
- Benjamin Franklin, from THE OLD FARMER'S ALMANAC, 1893

Question: Should you SPANK?

I'll bet you already suspected it, but EXPERTS ARE FINDING OUT THAT SPANKING CAN LEAD TO AGGRESSIVE BEHAVIOR! (Here's the article in TIME)


A better word for Discipline is 'childtraining'. It doesn't need to be mean or cruel, but it does take TIME - and IS hard work. Do you need to be better at DISCIPLINING, or CHILD TRAINING? Just like any skill, you get better with practice.

But HOW to discipline? Keep reading!  As the proverb says, "The child left to himself brings his mother to shame..."  I've been there, too! The minute you turn your back on them - they seem to get into trouble!  It's no fun! Discipline is no fun either, but the rewards are better! Children who are not disciplined, don't feel loved. IT'S TRUE! If you don't TRAIN them properly, they don't think you care enough to notice WHAT they are DOING, how they are growing, and WHO THEY ARE BECOMING!

Question: So how can I get my child to do what I say?

KIDS ARE NOT ROBOTS! Remember how we were given FREE WILL by our Creator?

My son once asked me, "Why doesn't God FORCE us to do the right thing?"

I told him, "Well, if we didn't have a choice ... how would he know who REALLY loved Him or not?"

There is no way to make it easy or uncomplicated, but there is a lot of research that CLEARLY SHOWS that a balance of LOVE and LIMITS, combined with good communication will result in your child understanding that discipline and guidance are meant for their good.

So How can I get THAT?


You're the LEADER.  So GET A PLAN!

NOTE: Always Remember to think things out and PLAN AHEAD! Explain the new program clearly to your kids before you do it. REMEMBER THAT YOU ARE THE LEADER! BE calm. Be confident. YOU are the boss, not them.


Dwight D. Eisenhower used to say that being a leader is like pulling a string...

“Pull the string,” he said, “and it will follow wherever you wish. Push it, and it will go nowhere at all.”

Mahatma Ghandhi said:
"Be the change you wish to see in the world."

You've heard it before.

It's TRUE. Children Learn what they Live... 

Your kids are WATCHING you. THEY learn what YOU LIVE!


DON'T be the guy who said,
"Do as I say, not as I DO!"


That means that YOU need to be in the FRONT, acting the way YOU want your KIDS to act!


It's NEVER too late! Decide what needs to change to make things better and begin modeling that behavior NOW!


Frederick Douglass said: "It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men."


From the TaoDeChing, Lao Tze said: "A journey of a thousand miles begins at the spot under one's feet. Therefore deal with things before they happen; Create order before there is confusion."


What do your kids really need? It's probably not more stuff. If you don't know what they need, FIND OUT. Your instincts are your best guide. Are you spending enough time with them to notice what they are feeling? Doing? What they really NEED? Maybe those NEEDS are to spend more time with YOU. Even if they say, "Get away from me", they may be thinking you don't really care. And of course they're wrong. You DO care. Regardless of what they may say that is annoying or awful, you would feel terrible if anything dreadful happened to them, and besides - they WANT AND NEED A RELATIONSHIP WITH YOU.

Are your children going in the right direction? If not, it's your duty to do something about it. What are their talents? Are they developing them? You know that sometimes misbehaving is a way to get attention. Find out what it is they are trying to tell you. There's a really good video below that might help. The link is on this page here, too (WHAT TO DO IF YOUR CHILD MISBEHAVES).


TIP- Watch this video to learn WHY you should NEVER ask "WHY?" but always ask  "WHAT" instead when they do misbehave!


Do you need help with the chores? They can help, too! They might not do them perfectly, but sometimes any help is better than none!

Whatever it is you need to change - Figure it out THEN,


COMMUNICATION is the KEY. A family meeting can help to air everyones issues and problems and work towards solutions. You may not get it right the first time, but it will lay the foundation for the next family meeting (we tried to have one each week). If you have a spouse, make sure they are there too. If your spouse is always 'too busy' to participate in the family issues, that's a problem right there. (Discuss with your spouse in private, beforehand, how much it means to you to have them at the meetings, and that you need to work on this together!)

At the beginning of each meeting explain that everyone will get a chance to express their feelings and needs, as long as they do it politely. No yelling. No acting out. No name calling or bad words. Everyone will get a chance to talk.

Once you find out what everyones needs are, then EXPLAIN YOURS.


In your Family meeting explain what 'good behavior' means, and ways the kids can help with chores, etc. Let them know that from now on you will ALL follow the RULES and that there will be REWARDS for all their hard work, and CONSEQUENSES for not doing what they are expected to do. Remember their ages limitations and abilities, and be flexible. The duties and responsibilities may change from week to week, or even from day to day as you work out the best plan of what everyone is capable of doing. IF AT FIRST YOU DON'T SUCCEED, TRY, TRY AGAIN. Which BEHAVIORS should you reinforce? Here are some suggestions.

Use my FREE customizeable behavior charts like the one on the right to let the kids know that YOU are watching. YOU are paying attention to who they are becoming. YOU are keeping track, YOU care about them AND you want to teach them to make good decisions. Stickers are not even needed- a simple check mark or happyface can give them a 'good mark' to to recognize their actions!

Just being NOTICED by you for being good will be an instant reward in itself!

The end result will help them become better people, as they FEEL good for BEING good.

HERE'S THE LINK TO YOUR FREE BEHAVIOR CHARTS HERE   (or click on the picture of the chart to your RIGHT)

behavior chart

CREATE and FOLLOW a P-L-A-N, and Life will become much easier for you AND for your child as you both learn what to expect of each other. YOU  WILL change too. Remember - communication is the key to any good relationship - it's a two way street. Iron sharpens iron. Husbands, wives, bosses.  We all respond to good communication skills.

Don't be afraid to apologize if you have been wrong in the past. Even if you never admitted it to them, your kids already knew you were wrong, anyway, right?

The only people who never apologize are tyrants. Who wants to hang around someone like that? They only want their own way and don't care what anyone else thinks. Or feels. The bottom line is: Don't BE a tyrant. Don't TOLERATE tyrants either (whether they are your bosses, spouses, or kids). If you have this problem with your mate, get help if they don't respond to reason.

Hold up the ideal to always try to understand the other person's point of view while respectfully expressing your own. THEN you'll have a better chance to get your own way, too! Polite people get their way more than rude people do!  

More than likely you desire a happy family that can live together in peace with one another.


1- PLAN REGULAR FAMILY MEETINGS, where you discuss the things that are important to you, and what you expect to accomplish: your goals and aspirations as a family, as individuals, for yourselves and for the world.

For instance: Be KIND, Be HELPFUL, RESPECT Others, etc). You will probably adjust your list to your family's needs as you go along. Remember that YOU have to follow the rules too!

3- As problems come up have a SPECIAL family meeting about it. Decide on who will do which CHORES at family meetings. Everyone will have a chance to have input and you will begin to see the wheels turning in their heads as the children think about fairness and justice in dealing with problems. They will begin to see themselves as part of a bigger whole; that they can work things out without resorting to violence or temper tantrums. DISCUSS how you want them to behave, what you expect from them (use the Behavior Pics if they fit), and choose age-appropriate Rewards and penalties IN ADVANCE. That way when an infraction of the rules arises (and it always will), you will be prepared mentally not to blow your fuse, but be able to calmly recall the proper punishment the family has previously agreed upon.

P= PLAN your strategy of rewards and consequenses IN ADVANCE!

L = LOVE your child no matter what, (even if you don't always love what they DO).
           LEARN everything about what makes them 'tick'!

A = ACT on your PLAN! APPLY what you know about your child's unique personality.

N = NUTURE their talents and abilities! NEVER NEVER give up on your child. Keep trying till they learn the discipline and behaviors they need to learn in order to succeed in life!

1: Make a 'ThankDon't Spank' BEHAVIOR CHART. PAY ATTENTION
to what they do so you can 'reward' them when they do it right, and give 'consequences' when they don't. Always say PLEASE (be POLITE when you ask them to do something, with a calm attitude of expecting them to do what they are told.

2- Always model the good behaviors you want them to do yourself. Try not to react in anger. You can let them know you are displeased, but in your anger do not over react! Use calm, logical response to a misbehavior, so you don't get 'sucked in' to bad behavior yourself. Pretty soon they will see they cannot win by acting inappropriately. STICK TO YOUR GUNS! This works on husbands too! And wives. And bosses.

3- PLAN in advance what the CONSEQUENSE will be when they disobey. Make sure you have let them know what it is so there will be no misunderstandings. It's not fair to punish them if you never let them know beforehand. When a new misbehavior comes up unexpectedly that you haven't told them in advance about what the punishment was, let them know immediately that "THIS IS NOT ACCEPTABLE" and that if they didn't understand it was bad, NOW  they do, and if they do it again they WILL be punished for it.

There are many things you can do to punish them according to their age levels ('quiet time', loss of privileges like TV, Video games, friends, going to bed early, no reward for that week, extra chores, etc., are all good deterrants to bad behavior). When my younger kids started acting up, many times I only had to say, "I guess there won't be any candy or soda for you guys on Saturday - You just can't seem to control yourselves!" And immediately they'd protest, "Yes we CAN!" and I would make that my last warning. We restricted their TV and monitored what they watched at all times. If they would act out something I felt they learned from TV I would say, "I guess you shouldn't have watched that TV program. It made you act badly just now. I guess there won't be any TV for a while.

Or If they said something like, "I'm BORED!" I'd immediately say, "Oh,if you can't find something creative to do, I've got some work for you to do!" and they'd quickly find another interest to keep them busy! Check out positive behaviors you may be interested in reinforcing here. You may think of more that need to be added. I'd love to hear about them. Isn't the best reward the feeling YOUR CHILD will get in the end from being a good person? And you, too having assurance that they are doing the right thing?

How to tailor the thank-don't spank chart for YOUR child:
YOU know your child best. Follow your Instincts to tell you what things your child needs to learn most, and select those. In the following section are some of the things I rewarded my children for... and things that have been suggested by others, too. I'll be adding more, so keep checking back - why not suggest some of your own?

ALSO - You can CREATE a PORTABLE chart you can carry with you in the car, to the babysitters, to keep track of behaviors while you are away from home too!  A great mom Catherine sent me this idea and I think it's WONDERFUL!


This is one of the BEST ideas I've seen in a LONG TIME!

Use a plastic sheet protector to cover the chart, mark with Dri-markers and use it over and over again!

By the way - you can usually find Clipboards at the 99c store!


*I made this to show how it might look!


Click the image on the right to go to the page with pictures that represent positive behaviors to reinforce in your child----------->

Have you made your Chart, yet?

Get it HERE!




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