Our Mission: Create Opportunities for People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities and their Families to Participate Fully in the Community

What is Discipline?


Discipline is Teaching and Training.

What are the goals of discipline?

  • To encourage appropriate behavior
  • To help problems from arising as your child grows older
  • To instill a lifelong sense of self-discipline

Basic principles of discipline:

  • Be a good listener
  • Speak kindly, quietly and on the child's level.
  • Identify what is important and emphasize it.
  • Identify what is unimportant and forget it.
  • Childproof your environment.
  • Identify limits that are appropriate and necessary. Once you establish these limits, they should be clearly defined and consistently maintained.
  • Give suggestions or directions in a positive, specific form.
  • Give your child a choice only when you are prepared to accept your child's decision.
  • Acknowledge your child's reaction.
  • Acknowledge your own feelings.
  • Try to understand and deal with the cause of your child's behavior.
  • Avoid making comparisons between one child and another or encouraging competition.
  • Avoid giving empty threats. They become meaningless.
  • Understand that your child will begin to think, feel and behave (identify with) significant people in their lives.
  • In some situations, "I" messages may be better than "you" messages.

A Child's Viewpoint of Discipline:

  • Set limits for me. I know quite well that I ought not have all I ask for. I am only testing you.
  • Be firm with me. I prefer it; it makes me feel more secure.
  • Help me form good habits. I have to rely on you to detect bad habits and learn good habits in my early stages.
  • Let me experience consequences. I need to learn the painful way sometimes.
  • If I say, "I hate you", it isn't you I hate, but your power to thwart me.
  • Give me attention for my positive behavior, praise me - that way I learn good behaviors.
  • Be consistent. Inconsistency confuses me and makes me loose faith in you.
  • Remember how quickly I am growing up. It must be hard for you to keep up with me, but please try.
  • Remember that I love to experiment. I couldn't get on and learn about my world, so please put up with it.
  • Remember that I thrive on lots of understanding and love, but I don't have to tell you, do I?

Page Last Updated: 2017-09-27