Above all was an absolute would not repeat my being a physically abused child. My dad meant well overall but no kid should ever go to school bruised and with black eyes from a parent as I did.
Early on my wife and I figured we needed to do the dog rules (no, sit, stay, come) early. We discussed good and bad decisions. We were very consistent. If a threat to take something away or go home was made we absolutely did it. We tried to be mindful if the right move was to back off or very much be on the matter with the child.
We were as best we could trying to be loving and fun but stood firm on a lot of stuff we saw others did not do. The we meant it if we said it and not disagreeing in front of the kids was probably important.
FWIW, we have 3 kids, they've made good choices overall, and I hope it continues.
Edit: Candor might have been an important thing including discussing our own failings and weaknesses.
We aimed to be kind and loving parents so that the contrast to a stern look or word had an impact. Anger would be followed up by reassurance.
We’ve now got 3 grownup “kids” aged 23 to 29 out in the adult world, all self-supporting, healthy and (mostly) polite, and they still talk to us and come home at Christmas — so although we weren’t perfect parents I think we didn’t do too badly…!
love, acceptance, positive reinforcement, no spanking, no parents flying off the handle, we used time outs etc. My kids are in college now and heck I wish they were a little bit more rebellious.....daughter is a college RA in a dorm and son has never touched alcohol.
Hand spanking. Which can be done without being labeled a beating. Talking and reasoning didn't work with my 3 very much.
They got a chance to own up. If they didn't all three or two if for sure one wasn't involved got spanked. Usually the threat of getting spanked would bring out the truth.
One time my wife and I heard something get broken. Our two daughters decided to blame their brother who wasn't home at the time but they didn't know this. When they got confronted he got blamed. So they were told to get him. If was funny how they acted when that told us he wasn't in his room.
They got spanked for lying and not being truthful about the broken item.
From 7th grade taking the subway alone and walking across Central Park alone after school, no bedtimes, no homework monitoring, no restrictions on friends, unlimited screen time, total internet privacy, no practice requirements for piano lessons, no requirement to work a job, no restrictions on what to wear.
If we did discipline we would have ungrounded; they mostly wanted to stay home.
Seriously we had a rule.
You will do SOMETHING that isn’t school/academic and isn’t video games. Sports, music, art, theatre, community service, job… we didn’t care. But it was something on the calendar that made them accountable to themselves and others and outside role models.
So really we almost never had discipline issues.
Oh, one is on stipend at the premier IO psychology PhD program in the US.
The other is scholarship D1 athlete.
Skip to short answer…
We didn’t discipline our kids, we instilled discipline to their habits.
The only thing that works for us is to threaten to block their computers/devices from the network. Then we actually block them.
Not punishment but something that worked for school with both our kids was to offer some $$$ for grades on report cards. They just did not care before that. We made an A worth so much, a B worth so much etc. Going down in value to C. In each case they went from Ds to A within one grade period. It actually got a little out of hand when their entire report card was As, every grade period, pricy!!!! But this really worked. The other down side was I used to get chores done by offering a little cash. Once they got the payin school gig, they just opted out from the peanuts the chores paid. So I wash my car, I wash dishes, take out trash etc.
Never been a parent, but I've had a couple. One in particular was 6'4" and 240 lbs. Teaching was done physically for the most part. I'm long past resentments now, but I will say that certain acts of parents, especially those of fathers on their kids, are never forgotten, even if the desire to forget is there. All I say is, use the minimum of force, rather than more than is required.
I don't have kids, but my parents had a very interesting method depending on which one was in charge of it.
My Mother would assign you a VERY boring task and sit there with you giving a lecture on what you did wrong. Her favorite method was canning green beans. Sitting there cutting the stem ends off and then dicing into thirds for hours on end was something Dante would have been proud to witness. Then, in winter, while being served those same green beans, she would bring up what stupid thing you did just to drive it home once more.
My Father had a different method (2 of them actually). When we were teens, if one son screwed up, he would take another one on a long drive. During that drive, he would go to great lengths explaining how stupid son number 1 was for what he did. He never confronted the one that actually did wrong, he would address it with the other son instead. It was then up to the one to translate the lecture to the one that the lecture was about in the first place. I think he did that simply as a way to control his anger since my father was a gorilla that could press 500 lbs. and was on heavy steroids for a medical condition...ie quick to rage.
Now, when we were still kids, Dad had a different method. If we screwed up, he would tell us that he would be placing a monster in our closet for a week. Then he would hide in the closet and make noise until we finally fell asleep hiding beneath the covers. It sounds so stupid, but for about 14 years, it really worked because we were petrified of that monster and would very rarely risk making such bad decisions again.
A wise man once said: A youth learns more from a good scare, then a good lecture.