Age Appropriate Discipline


Discipline involves teaching and leaning. The word comes from the root word “disciple” which means pupil, a follower, or a learner.

Did you know that…

Punishment is an attempt to change behavior through an act of blame, shame, or pain.
Punishment teaches what not to do.

Guidance is an attempt to change behavior by leading, directing, teaching, and advising.
Guidance teaches how to do.

Our main goal as parents is to provide guidance to help children learn self-discipline.


Self-discipline is the ability to look to self as an inner focus of control rather than always looking to adults or others as an outer focus of control.

Adults can help by:

  • Being a good role model
  • Acknowledging good behavior
  • Labeling children’s feelings
  • Using simple, concrete words – “Running is for outside. We walk inside.”
  • Telling children what to do – “Leave the rocks on the ground. “
  • Staying calm and using a normal tone of voice
  • Being firm without being unpleasant – “Let go of Jeri’s hair. It hurts when you pull.”