2 Must Have’s For Disciplining Kids & #1 Thing To Never Leave Out

2 Must Have’s For Disciplining Kids & #1 Thing To Never Leave Out

2 Must Have’s For Disciplining Kids & #1 Thing To Never Leave Out 640 430 Mona Corwin

Hey lil Mumma… Psst… I got a question.

How are your kids behaving? Do they take your discipline with humble agreement? Or do they scream like bloody murder when you say no to the huge bag of cotton candy they just ripped open at Target?

If your like I use to be you simply smile at the people around you as if you are in total control and know exactly what you’re going to do next. Disciplining kids is easy.

But I didn’t know, and discipline wasn’t easy. Inside I was embarrassed and felt like a failure as a mom.

Truth be told, the other people watching the sticky mess know exactly how you feel. They most likely have had their cotton candy moments too.

I remember that feeling well. And that’s precisely why I look for lil Mumma’s in the grocery store. If I find one, if I walk straight up to her and say… it’s ok Lil Mumma they’ll get it. You’re doing a great job, hang in there.

You’d think I’d get a “mind your own business” look. But I usually get a look of relief that someone understand. Hugs usually ensue.

What’s my discipline advice?

I get asked this question a lot. After all I’ve been doing this for decades. Methods very and new ideas are coming along all the time. Some things worked and some things only worked for like one time. I suggest you try everything that seems good to you. You’re a good mom. A smart woman. And you know your children.

But from the voice of one who’s been there and done that for quite awhile I do have a few things that always worked.

And here they are: The two things that you must have in your discipline and the number one thing you should never leave out.

The Must Haves

#1 Consistency

You probably already know this, but it really is important? Yep consistency is key to any discipline method. Time out works if you follow through. Counting also works if you follow through. Swats work … well you get the picture. Discipline can seem like war at times. But your follow through is essential to any victory on this behavioral frontline.

Kids can smell wishy-washy. Empty threats and “wait till your dad comes home” undermines your authority. Kids actually do best when they know where behavioral boundaries are drawn. My husband really helped out here by clearly stating to the kids that mom was the boss and that he backed me up all the way.

Struggling with consistency?

Check your emotions when you discipline.

  • If you’re too angry, do not discipline.
  • If you are distracted, talking on phone or working on something do not discipline.

Try this first. It is a simple technique, but sometimes-hard things are simple.

  • Take a deep breathe before you threaten a consequence.
  • Think it through. It’s ok to send your child to their room until you can get your thoughts together.
  • Then be firm and follow through with discipline and consequences if needed.

You can’t be in a hurry. So if you are rushed, inform your sweet pea that there will be a conversation when you get home. Then make sure you do it.

#2 The No Shame Approach

Discipline is a good thing a necessary thing that trains children into healthy, well-balanced adults. This developing and training and correcting stuff is hard work. But it’s your job as a parent and you can do it. Remember, your learning too.

You don’t need to be ashamed if your child is acting up and needs to be corrected. We are all learning to behave, right? Your girlfriend’s kids may look perfect but they have a sin nature that has to be trained too.

Let’s just agree as moms to stick together and comfort each other as we do the best we can. And for heavens sake can we just stop the “I can’t believe your kid… shame game?

After all we are not trying to raise great kids, we are trying to raise godly adults that do great things for God.

Shame is not from God. And shame based discipline isn’t either.

We want to convict our children not condemn them. It is vital that children understand that who they are as a person is separate from what they do.

Understanding that “who” they are is loved and cherished and safe. While firmly stating that what they are doing must be changed. It is much easier to repent for a behavior and turn from it. It is almost impossible to repent for who you are. Shame for who you are is very difficult to overcome.

Be clear what action or attitude you do not like and then just as clear what you want instead.

Here are a few examples:

Who They Are    vs     What They Do

Your bad                             You are acting poorly

You make me sick             I know you can do better

You’re a brat                      That behavior is unacceptable


The One Thing You Should NEVER Leave Out


Know why you want the behavior your asking for. This is the biggest and best advice I have on discipline.

Without sounding too spiritual, my why, my purpose for discipline is that I want my children to have the character of God. Made in His image I desire for them to reflect Him in every area. I desire to see the fruit of the spirit in their actions and attitudes. I want them to love, have empathy and experience true compassion for others. Just like Jesus.

Our method

When we saw a behavior that needed to change we:

  1. Pointed out the behavior.
  2. Explained how it was wrong.
  3. What we wanted to see instead.
  4. Then shared “the why” for the change.
  5. Concluding with either informing them of the consequences if behavior continued, or administered correction if appropriate.
  6. Then reinforcing worth, love and belonging with hugs and words of encouragement. Always ending with a smile and good eye contact.

This is a great method but it is the “Why” that makes it work. The why is so important. Every time I have disciplined well, and trust me I haven’t always gotten it right either. But when I have it is because I was aware of why I was disciplining. I knew that something needed to be removed and what needed to be replaced. I was aware of what character trait; fruit of the spirit or Christ like attitude was the goal.


Example: 6-year-old Johnny tells a lie.

“Johnny lying is wrong.”

“Dad and I want you to always tell the truth no matter what.”

“Do you know why we want you to tell the truth?”

“Because God never lies and we are made to act just like Him.”


Example: 14-year-old Johnny hits his sister.

“Johnny hitting your sister is unkind and wrong”

“You are growing into a young man and men protect women. Men are to cherish women and treat them tenderly even when a man may feel angry. That means choosing not to use strength to force women but to communicate with words.”

“Johnny, just as God is slow to anger and tender in his rebukes. So should you be to your sister.”


I could probably go on and on. It’s a big job this discipline thing. But it is our job as parents. We can’t rely on the schools or even the church to do it for us.

The good news is you are perfect for the job. God gave you his word, His attributes and a love for your children that no one on earth has. Hang in there lil mumma and don’t be afraid to ask for help or advice from us mumma’s that have been there. We want to help.

So the next time your darling starts screaming or misbehaving in the store, remember to take a deep breath, know your why and be consistent. And if that isn’t working look for me, I just might be on the next aisle with a hug.

What discipline challenges are you facing? Join the conversation on Facebook or Twitter. There’s a lot of support for you here.

Mona Corwin, Creator of the MomsLikeUs Academy, Podcast and Community