Parenting Tips: Successful Parenting with the Discipline Stick

This is another reprint with permission of one of Jean Tracy's articles about parenting tips.  Do you struggle with disciplining your children?  I must admit this is still one area of being a parent that I still have not mastered.  My husband finds me too kind when it comes to disciplining our children while I already feel guilty that I'm being too unkind.

Do you use a stick to discipline them?  Jean talks about a discipline stick when it comes to assessing whether we are not kind, too kind or just right in applying discipline on our children.  Hope this article will be helpful to you.

I remember one dad who made his 11-year old son dig his own grave in their backyard. No one remembers what wrong the son had done. Everyone remembers his dad's discipline. One mother beat and cursed her daughter shouting, "I wish you were never born." Do you ever wonder if your discipline crosses the line? To find out, let's imagine a Discipline Stick. It's shaped like a ruler. It's effective and it doesn't spank hands.

One side of the Discipline Stick measures Kindness. It numbers from one to ten. The numbers from 1-3 represent Not kind. The grave-digging dad and the cursing mom disciplined in the Not Kind zone.

The opposite end of the Discipline Stick at 8, 9, and 10 measures Too Kind. Parents who spoil their kids with kindness create tyrants. Their actions are definitely, Too Kind.

Not Kind and Too Kind can be measured by:

  • The sound of your voice
  • The look on your face
  • The words you say
  • The emotions you feel
  • The actions you take

Not Kind: (numbers 1-3)
  • Speaks in an angry voice
  • Looks hateful
  • Feels rage
  • Says cruel things
  • Takes harmful actions

Too Kind: (numbers 8-10)

  • Speaks without authority
  • Looks beaten
  • Feels powerless
  • Says "Yes" when "No" is best
  • Forgets to be the parent

Just Right: (numbers 4-7)

Just Right sits in the middle of the Discipline Stick. It enshrines the wide middle road between Not Kind and Too Kind. To parent Just Right ask yourself this powerful question, "How can I be both Kind and Firm?"

The Wrap-Up:

Child Protective Services took care of the grave digging dad. T he cursing mom kept cursing.  Her daughter vowed never to hit or curse at her children. She kept her vow.  If you discipline toward either extreme, you can change. To parent Just Right before disciplining your kids, ask yourself this powerful question,

"How can I be both Kind and Firm?"

Jean Tracy, MSS, publishes a Free Parenting Newsletter. Subscribe at and receive 80 fun activities to share with your kids.

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Jean Tracy, MSS
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