5 Things parenting experts don’t tell you about discipline

If you are like me, you have spent hours searching the internet or reading books looking for advice on disciplining your children. In this post, I will share with you 5 things that parenting experts don’t tell you about discipline.

A mom who is wearing her baby in a carrier on her chest. She is kneeling down and has her face pressed against her older child. Above the picture are the words: One Determined Life, 5 things parenting experts don't tell you about discipline.

When I had my first child, I had no clue what I was doing. I now have 3 kids and I still have many days when I feel like I have no clue what I’m doing 😉

One of the things I continually look for is advice on discipline. I want new strategies or tips to see if maybe I am missing something that will have my kids behave.

After doing extensive reading and going over lots of information, I have discovered that each piece I have read has had something missing. Everyone gives advice on the best way to discipline kids.

So, I have decided to fill in some of those blanks.

5 things that parenting experts don’t tell you about discipline

1. It may not work for you

One of the first things I realized that experts don’t tell you about discipline is that what may work for one may not work for the other.

Every child is different and one strategy that one parent shares may have zero impact on your own child.

If you even suggest that this strategy does not seem to be working for you then people will respond by telling you that you are obviously not doing it right and that you have no clue what you’re doing.

The truth is that your child may just not respond to a particular tactic.

2. It may work, but only a few times

Another frustrating that people don’t tell you about discipline is that the strategy you picked may not work all the time.

You have finally found something that works!!! Yeah!!!! A few weeks later, you use the same tactic you have been using for weeks and it no longer works.

This may be for a few reasons. The first is that young children grow in and out of stages very quickly. As they transition, how they react to certain strategies may change as well.

The second is that children are smart. They might have figured out what’s your doing and are no longer want to go along with what you’re trying to do.

3. It may work for this kid, but not the next

Your first child was easy. You got this parenting business down so you decide to have a second. You have a list of discipline strategies that worked like a dream for child 1 and think: I have no clue why people find this so hard.

Enter child #2!! You try and try and try, and nothing you do seems to work. You use the same strategies at the same stages and your child still does not toe the line. Why?? Well, your kids are not the same.

They won’t react the same way to a certain tactic as each other. You might have to find a whole new bag of strategies for each child you have.

4. Your child is too young for this strategy

I read parenting books and regularly think: wow, that would never fly for my 2-year-old. Or, I think: so what age is this strategy good for?

For some reason, books never suggest an age. It’s easy to read a book and think it’s a fantastic idea.

But then you try it out and realize that your child is not developed enough to understand what you’re trying to do.

Don’t throw the strategy out the door, just maybe put it on the shelf and try again when your child is older.

5. Time requirement

Training children takes time. When I say time, I don’t mean minutes or hours. I mean days, months and years.

There are some concepts that I have been working on with my children for years and they still don’t seem to understand. But don’t lose heart, because one day they do get it and it gets better.

In the comments below, share what parenting truths that you feel are left out of books.

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63 responses to “5 Things parenting experts don’t tell you about discipline”

  1. Joe Avatar

    > It may work for this kid, but not the next

    A story my mom likes to tell is that for my oldest brother, she could put him on a blanket outside and he would not crawl off that blanket.

    Then my second oldest brother came along. She put him on a blanket outside expecting the same thing, but he crawled to go exploring off 100% of the time!

  2. Anmaria Djong I Onelazychic Avatar

    Discipline indeed takes time. I feel guilty sometime when I get impatient.

  3. Logan Avatar

    Oh, my this is so true! What works for my son does not work for my daughter at all!

  4. candy Avatar

    Every child is different and needs are different and how they react. Yelling and screaming are never the answer.

  5. Sharon Avatar

    Im not a parent but this is an interesting read! Thanks for the tips xx

  6. Tram-Anh Poprik Avatar

    Thanks so much for these 5 tips….it helps to get a different perspective on disciplining. We sometimes forget that our babes are individuals and not everything will work for everyone!

  7. jehava Avatar

    Different methods have worked for each kid in our family but, some of the same one’s have remained true and effective. Every parent has to figure that out but, I do think strong willed children and more passive children respond differently to various discipline methods.

  8. Bonnie Marrow Avatar

    YEs these are all so true- another reason I hate getting parenting advice I haven’t asked for

  9. Patrick Blair Avatar
    Patrick Blair

    Amen!! Especially the “what works for one may not for another” issue. It’s also hard to explain to one why they have different rules than the other… but when they’re grown, they’ll definitely understand! 🙂 Kudos on a great article!

  10. Jessie Avatar
    Jessie

    I love what you say about seeing each child as an individual. People often think discipline equals punishment, but treating a child as an individual and understanding normal child development help you connect with the child and discipline through modeling and guidance. Much more effective.

  11. Elizabeth at Mom Always Knows Avatar

    You hit the nail on the hole! I have 2 daughters 18 months apart and this is so true. What works sometimes, doesn’t the next day and what works for one of them doesn’t for the other..lol. Thanks for sharing! : )

  12. Ola Avatar
    Ola

    I really the honest tone of your writing voice. Parenting is definitely no joke.

  13. JoJo Tabares Avatar

    Every child is so different. What works with one may not for another.

  14. Courtney Buechle Avatar
    Courtney Buechle

    I love your graphics and your advice! Definitely going to share with my mommy friends!

  15. Cait Avatar

    these are are all super accurate! Thanks for sharing girl!

  16. jenna@athomewithkids.com Avatar

    These are spot on! When my second came along I wondered why nothing seemed to work like they did with my first. Then I had a third…same thing. They are all unique and the discipline needs to be too. Great post!

  17. Lauren C. Moye Avatar

    Things they don’t tell you in the parenting books: your child can be both precocious and still not ready for certain strategies. (<- My current problem.) Just because your kid doesn't communicate well doesn't mean that they don't understand well. (<- Experience from working with ASD children.) Your children – despite your best training – will act differently when they are outside of your sight.

  18. Ashley Avatar

    I love the one about the age! As a teacher, I had to figure out what strategies worked best for my 5th graders, and now as a mom to a toddler I have to determine what a 2 year old will respond to! Also, what works for one may not work for another, that is a great tip to remember. Thanks for these!

  19. Grace Avatar
    Grace

    I am working on a parenting strategy program! I am saving this as a reference so I can make sure to include this type of information to my clients! Its so true that not everything works for every child and what works for one might not work for another.

  20. Ashley Avatar
    Ashley

    As a fellow mother of 3 very unique children I can attest that this is a GREAT list. Thanks!!

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