18 Discipline Mistakes Even Smart Parents Make

From bribing your kids to throwing your own tantrum, we've all had low moments when it comes to trying to get our kids to behave. Here are the most common discipline mistakes parents make -- and how you can avoid them (19 Photos)

Dina Roth Port on Oct 10, 2012 at 5:19PM

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18 Discipline Mistakes Even Smart Parents Make

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18 Discipline Mistakes Even Smart Parents Make

Few things can shake your parental confidence more than trying to get your kids to listen and behave. Whether you're losing it because no one will clean up the Play-Doh all over the dining room table or trying (in vain) to get the gang in the car, it can make you wonder how things went so very, very wrong. We spoke to the experts to get the answers. Here are 18 discipline mistakes that even smart parents make -- and the easy changes you can make to fix them.

Not Following Through

If you tell your child he's not allowed to watch TV if he doesn't clean up his room, but then you cave in and let him do it anyway, you're only going to confuse him. You have to follow through every time, experts say. "When parents don't follow through, they send the child a double message: 'Sometimes we mean what we say and sometimes we don't,'" explains Carl Pickhardt, Ph.D, a psychologist in Austin, Texas and author of The Everything Parent’s Guide to Positive Discipline. Many kids, especially those who are strong-willed, will often bet that you don't if that's worked in the past. However, if you keep your word and actually, say, unplug the TV for the day, your child will realize, "Hey, Mom's not kidding around -- I'd better behave." For that reason, it's best not to make any threats you'd never stick with, like "No Christmas this year."

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