7 Old School Discipline Techniques That Actually Work

by Sarah Hosseini

Trying to figure out how to raise good humans can really be a really confusing endeavor. Am I supposed to praise them or not? Am I supposed to reward? Punish? Both? Oftentimes, parents turn to the experts to see what is actually effective, and ignore the advice passed down from family members and friends. But you may not want to dismiss grandma's opinion just yet, as there are some old school discipline techniques that actually work.

These rules have been making the rounds for quite a while and have been proven to work. Regardless of what new discipline theory is trending at the moment, these ones have stood the test of time.

I fully admit to making some terrible parenting choices in terms of discipline. I've taken away screen time for so many days — too many days — which ended up punishing me the most. I've made threats and counted to 10. I've yelled. I've lost my cool in the heat of the moment. None of these worked to effectively discipline my children.

As you go on your parenting journey, searching for what works best for you and your family you might want to consider some of these true blue techniques. They've been tried and tested through the ages by thousands, if not millions, of parents and might help you raise a decent human being.


The Best Way To Teach Good Behaviors Is To Model Good Behaviors

It's a simple concept and one that can be used in your daily interactions with adults and kids alike. Researchers agree that modeling good behavior is one of the most powerful tools for influencing other people, according to the HuffPost.


"Time Out" For Kids Is Really Effective

"Time out works very well for disciplining children," therapist Kimberly Hershenson tells Romper. "When a child acts up, removing them from the situation helps them understand they cannot continue their behavior." The good thing about time outs, in my experience, is that it often diffuses tense situations as well. My kid and I both get a chance to cool down, so we can be more calm when we talk.


The "Take Away A Privilege" Punishment Has Impact

According to the Baby Center, taking away privileges is an affective discipline technique when done correctly. It must be done that sparingly, so as not to lose its significance. It also works best when it's not done for a long time. One or two weeks can feel like eternity for a young one and they can start to get resentful.


You Get What You Get, And You Don't Throw A Fit

This is a favorite saying in my family, mostly because it's simple for kids to understand. Also, according to Parenting, the saying also speaks to the issue of unfairness.


5. I Can't Understand You When You Speak Like That

"When a child whines try saying 'I can't hear you when you don't use your big boy/big girl voice,'" Hershenson says. "Not giving in allows your child to recognize that you are setting a boundary and will not tolerate their behavior." The beauty of this one is that it empowers your child to make a choice about whether they want to continue in an unfavorable tone, or make adjustments, as explained in the aforementioned Parenting article.


Consistency Is Key

One of the biggest annoyances I have with parents is their propensity to throw around empty threats. According to Good Housekeeping, being consistent with your kid means following up, checking in, and holding them accountable. If you don't, their bad behavior only continues.


Daily Chores Teach Discipline

"Daily chores are a good method to help your child learn responsibility and be accountable," Hershenson says. "Chores teach a child to be independent and help them feel accomplished with simple tasks." To be clear — no one is saying that you turn your kids into mini-Cinderellas or servants. And no one is suggesting you pile on so many chores that your kid can't be a kid. But expecting your child to complete certain activities that contribute to the household, tailored to their age and development, is really helpful in teaching discipline of the non-punishment variety.

Disciplining kids is pretty confusing territory if you start looking at all of the information available. But once you take the time to really decide what will fly best with your family and which methods make a positive impact, it gets a little easier.