I think that this might actually be the most difficult aspect of parenting. Are we doing it right? When do we discipline? How will it affect our child? In what way is most affective? Its quite confusing and I think it takes more than one way to find what works best for you and your child.
I have done a lot of reading and spoken with a lot of parents about this topic. Most people usually say that if you are going to discipline using the concept of reinforcement to always follow through with the terms and conditions of the said punishment. This could be very difficult to do especially when the water works begin. As mothers we have this side of us that can not ignore those tears of our innocent babies, but unfortunately we have to stand strong because if we do not implement some type of discipline our children will think that what they are dong is right and in most cases they will begin to rule the household.
I started implementing discipline when Ben was old enough to understand what the word "no" meant. If I told Ben he could not touch something and he did I would sit him on a small stool for 1 min (the famous time out technique). When he got a bit older I started the famous "count to 3" trick. Most parents I know will count to 3 but after will not implement the discipline after 3. I on the other hand most certainly do. I remember not to long ago Ben refused to clean up his toys, he kicked and screamed, so I got down to his level and I told him that I will begin to count to 3 and when I hit 3 and he hasn't begun to clean up his toys I will throw them into a garbage bag and give them to the garbage men. He did not believe me at first and tried to call my bluff so I grabbed a garbage bag and began to count. I got to 2 and started to pick up a toy and inched it towards the garbage bag at that moment he screamed and began to put his toys away. Some may think this is cruel but I actually would have followed through and thrown his toys in the garbage because if I didn't he would then know that I was bluffing and he could do what he wants. Needless to say, whenever it is time to clean up his toys he proceeds without a fuss. Clearly it worked!
Recently I have been doing the 3 strike rule with Ben. If he does 3 things in a certain time frame he will have something taken away that he enjoys or another consequence if it fits the day and schedule. Tonight during dinner I asked him to eat his dinner about 15 times. When he began to play with his food I told him we are no longer going to the store as scheduled. When he heard that he began to scream and yell at the top of his lungs so I told him he needed to go upstairs and get ready for bed (this being 5:45pm). He did not like that very much and decided it would be a good idea to hit me twice, I did not take kindly to that so he was sent to bed at 6pm no questions asked. Did I do the right thing? Im not sure, I guess only time will tell.
What are some techniques you guys use to discipline your children? Does it change with age group?