Parenting: Discipline and Limit Setting

3 to 5 Years Old: What Doesn't Work

  • Threats and bribes. If you constantly use threats and bribes to gain cooperation, you train your child to ignore you when you do not threaten or bribe him. It is better if a child cooperates with you because he wants your approval and wishes to do the right thing.
  • Barking orders all day long. Under these circumstances children resent you and fight you to assert their independence.
  • Berating children. Avoid statements or adjectives that berate a child. For example, "You're bad," or "What's wrong with you?" These phrases lower a child's self-esteem. Children feel enraged and act out in retaliation.