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. Brittany Schreurs Avatar
    Brittany Schreurs

    Simple and to the point! Thank you! That’s the kind of reading I like. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  2. Christina Avatar
    Christina

    This is so true, it can be different for every family.

  3. Ashley Griffith Avatar

    I wish I would have read something like this before we had our little girl eight months ago. I spent so much time trying to read up on how to have the perfect child and eventually, gave up because none of it was working. Once I listened to my gut, we were all happier.

  4. Pamela Marks Avatar

    I agree every child is different and what might work for one many not work for another. Every child is different like every adult is different. Patience, Love, and Understanding need to come into play while raising children.

  5. Danielle Greco Avatar

    This is all so true. It really does depend on the kid and the situation.

  6. Ant Avatar
    Ant

    I like looking at the advice as something to store in my “toolbox” for when the challenge arises ๐Ÿ™‚ Your advice is great for parents who are struggling to “get it right” – in other words…for all of us ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. Faith Avatar
    Faith

    This post is so true! I have 2 children and they are night and day to each other. What worked for one certainly doesn’t work for the other. And then there’s the, “yay! it’s working!” moment, which is often followed up with “maybe not.” You just have to go with the flow!

  8. Jennifer DeFrates/Heaven not Harvard Avatar

    You made great point as did many of the comments- If I had anything to add, I would say that sometimes it’s not up to us, even if we nail the strategy and implementation, kids sometimes lose it. When they are tired or emotional or sick or just overwhelmed, they make a bad choice. No parenting technique is going to make your kid perfect. Teaching them how to fail and recover from it is just as important as how to behave in the first place. I wish more experts talked about how it all falls apart sometimes.

    1. anne.markey1@gmail.com Avatar

      That’s an excellent point. No matter how good our parenting is, it does not guarantee great decisions from our kids.

  9. andrea Avatar

    As a mother of 2 teens I can say this post is SPOT ON! Every kid is so completely different and there is not a discipline that is a one size fits all. Great post

  10. anvita Avatar

    This is a great post. Although I have just one but I seen how one strategy works with my kid and just doesn’t with another.

  11. Mama Munchkin Avatar

    Yes, to all of the above. I have 5 kids and I was shocked to learn that each of them needed (and still needs) to be disciplined differently. I also remember getting frustrated with a tactic when it stopped working or when they were too young. Great post!

  12. Kristen Avatar

    There are so many different things that you can do with and for your child. As long as we love them and care for them we are teaching them well. Children learn most by watching how we interact with others and each other.

    1. anne.markey1@gmail.com Avatar

      Yes, they learn so much from what they see those around them do.

  13. Maggie Avatar

    Ugh! I agree with all of this! Parenting advice is so hard to follow b/c every child is so different. Thanks for sheding some light on this. xo

    http://www.the-over-exposed.com

  14. Michelle Nietert Avatar
    Michelle Nietert

    I do agree with you that what intervention will work with each job varies by the child and the circumstance. As a professional counselor, I think I might add to this list that it might not work if you don’t do it consistently for a while.

    1. anne.markey1@gmail.com Avatar

      Good point!! I find that doing something for a day will not be enough!

  15. Malissa at Quotation Re:Marks Avatar

    I don’t have kids yet – but this is great stuff to keep in mind for when / if I do! Thanks for sharing this list ๐Ÿ™‚

  16. Desiree Avatar
    Desiree

    SO TRUE. Every child is different and not everything that works for one will work for another. Super important for parents to remember that!

  17. Joanna Avatar

    I have had to change my strategy so many times before because none of my kids have responded the same, and as they get older it changes so much!

  18. Lindsey Avatar

    My son is 20 months and we are definitely in the stage where something works for a short period of time and then it no longer works! It’s rough! Thank you so much for reminding me I’m not alone!

  19. Kara Avatar

    These are so important to remember! We shouldn’t judge others’ discipline because each child is different.

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