Getting Your Child to Behave: Expert Answers to Your Most-Asked Discipline Questions

5. Does a reward system really work?
Although rewards can motivate your child to cooperate, it is important to differentiate between discipline and behavior modification. Rewarding your young child's good behavior with stickers, for example, will often have positive results at first. However, the novelty does wear off -- sometimes rather quickly -- and you will still need to enforce consequences for unacceptable behavior. Clear expectations and consistent consequences are the keys to success. More on Reward Systems.

6. How can I stop my child from having tantrums?
There is no quick way to stop tantrums. Children will test you -- that's part of their job. If your child begins to have a tantrum, do your best not to react. If your child sees that she's not getting a rise out of you, then she will quiet down -- and the tantrums should get shorter as time goes on. Talk to your child after the tantrum is over. Discuss the event that triggered the tantrum and explain the behavior you expect, as well as the consequences for misbehavior. More on Stopping Tantrums.

7. I lose patience when disciplining my child. What can I do?
The most important thing you can do is not to enforce too many rules at one time. Sit down and make a list of the four or five areas that are most important to you and your partner. For example, do you care more about a consistent bedtime than you do about a bath every night? Are table manners extremely important to you, or is putting away toys a priority? Consistency is the name of the game. More on Losing Patience When Disciplining Children.

8. How can I get my teen to follow the house rules?
Talk with your partner about the importance of consistency and consequences. Strengthen your parental team by agreeing to stop making deals with your teen. Then, establish clear rules and guidelines that relate responsibility to privileges. For example, let your teen know that she can use the car once she completes the chores you have assigned. Consequences should be firm, but carried out without anger. More on Teens and Rules.

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