Resources, Advice & Tips for Covid-19
Read More

How to Use Parenting Games to Discipline Children

Susie McGee
Do you have your game plan?

Have you ever considered using parenting games to discipline children? The idea isn't so far-fetched, and while some people may lump this type of method into the category of permissive parenting, you may already be practicing many of these ideas.

Using Parenting Games to Discipline Children

Just what is the theory behind parenting games to discipline children? Before you head to your local toy store to look for this magic game that will help your children behave, consider the following. In order to execute any idea successfully, you have to have a game plan. This holds true for children's education, individual and team sports, employment, and virtually anything else we strive to do in life. Without a game plan, we may head in too many directions, simply spinning our wheels and missing out on the success we should have found. The same idea can be related to a parenting. You have to have a game plan in order to create success.

What Works

Children thrive on routine. Although your parenting style may differ from your neighbor's, there are certain tried and true techniques that can foster positive behavior and eliminate behavior problems. The first key word that you must remember is "consistency". If you are co-parenting with your partner, you must both agree to be consistent and discipline in the same manner. Once your child learns that he can play one of you against the other, the ballgame is in essence over, and he has won. It won't always be easy to be consistent, but over time it will bring about a positive change in your child's behavior.

Key Points to Remember

Now that you understand that you and your partner must be consistent, it's time to move on to the real issue-parenting games to discipline children. Just as some might say love is a game, promoting good behavior in your child is, too. It won't happen overnight, but it will happen if you practice the following suggestions.

  • Start Early-How young is too young when it comes to fostering good behavior and using positive discipline? When your child is old enough to understand that you disapprove of something he has done-in other words, when he is a toddler.
  • Use Positive Reinforcement-This cannot be stressed enough! Some kids actually misbehave to get some type of response or attention from their parents. Eliminate that need by noticing the good things your child does. You can even create "gotcha cards" to hand to your child. These cards could have the word "gotcha" printed on them (or any other appropriate word). You give your child one of these cards because he or she has done something to make you proud. It doesn't have to be a monumental act, but it does have to be noticeable. Once your child collects so many "gotcha cards", reward him with a prize, such as a gift certificate to his favorite video game store, ice cream shop, or theater.
  • Make Your Presence Known-Sometimes all it takes is a small touch on the arm or pat on the back to rein your child in and command his attention towards you and away from some negative behavior.
  • Teach Your Child Self-Control-Redirect your child away from the negative behavior he is displaying and towards something else that will have a positive effect. Take away temptations that are too great for your child, such as removing markers from a toddler or cleaning out your liquor cabinet as an example to your teen.
  • Communicate Your Expectations-Sometimes in new situations, children simply aren't sure of the appropriate way to act. Before you head to the airport, that fancy restaurant, or the awards ceremony, sit your child down and discuss your expectations with her. Let her know what will be going on and how you expect her to behave. Give her the consequences that she will face if she does not meet those expectations.
  • Head Off Tantrums-If you see your child about to lose control, it's time for you to leave wherever you are and find a place that you can quietly and quickly get control of your child. This may mean leaving your groceries in the cart while you head to the car so that you can manage your child's behavior in a firm yet positive manner. Once your child has calmed down, you can go back to what you were doing.
  • Give Clear Directions-For younger children or children with short attention spans, it's important that you give clear directions. You should also avoid giving too many directions at one time. Offer short, friendly reminders, such as, "Don't forget to make your bed" and "Be sure you brush your teeth." Demonstrate how you want things done as well, such as "Put the napkin on the left side of the plate, like this."

While there will be many times throughout your parenting years that you feel as if you are repeating the same old song, remember that what you are doing for your child now will form the foundation that will help him or her succeed as a well-rounded, successful adult in the future.

Was this page useful?
How to Use Parenting Games to Discipline Children