5 Principles for Disciplining Your Children

Melissa Kruger | May 18, 2017


Before having children, I worked for years as a camp counselor and as a teacher in a large public high school. Both arenas taught me the importance of discipline in a child’s development. Without structure and rules, summer camp would quickly devolve into some version of Lord of the Flies. Without order in the classroom, my students would never have the opportunity to learn.

Through my years of working with kids, five guiding principles helped me as a counselor, teacher, and especially as a mom. While not all methods work for all children, I’ve found these principles work for a variety of children, regardless of their age, sex, or disposition.

1. Teach proactively, rather than reactively.

Children need to be taught what is right just as much as they need to be corrected. Bible stories, daily events, and mistakes provide opportunities in various situations to ask, “What would be the right thing to do?” Allowing your child to communicate the proper course of action helps him to understand more fully than just hearing it from your lips.

When my kids were young, before entering a grocery store I would playfully ask, “Are we going to act like hooligans in this store?” Of course, they’d respond, “No!” Then I’d ask…


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