Disciplining Kids

How do you discipline your kids?

Our Daddy MD Guide’s reply: I like to recommend to parents several things. First is a vital need for consistency (parents need to talk about this separately). Kids like routines, they like to know the rules, and yet they continue to test the boundaries. If there is no consistency, then it makes it confusing for children. Avoid undermining the authority of parent figures — it only leads to more problems. Keep it simple: If a child has done something wrong, decide on a penalty and make sure this stays consistent. Tell the child what you are unhappy about, and identify the problem.

I like to tell my kids, “I love you, but what you did is wrong, and this is your punishment for what you did.” Finally, try to “wipe the slate clean.”Once they have done their punishment, forget it, and move on to something else. And in the future, avoid daring kids into trouble and instead try to help them stay out of trouble.

Finally, work on the following qualities in your children: being appreciative, being thankful, and being respectful. If you as a parent live these ideals, it will rub off on your children.

Antonio Pangan, MD, a dad of 10- and 6-year-old children, an assistant professor of pediatrics at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine, and the medical director for primary care of the Loyola Center for Health at Burr Ridge