What are the best discipline techniques for a 5 year old? My husband and I struggle on a daily basis to try to figure it out. There are just so many discipline techniques in which to choose from.  Like many kids, our little one can be pretty darn stubborn when she doesn’t want to do something. Getting her to brush her teeth, leave the playground or dressed for school can be quite challenging. How do we feel when she starts acting like this Frustrated! We either start yelling or bribing her to get her to do what we’ve asked. Neither tactic is very beneficial and makes us feel like we’re failing as parents. I know we could definitely benefit from taking some parenting courses, reading a book (I hear Your Best Child Ever Book is pretty good) or re-watching a few episodes of Super Nanny.  In our defense, it’s not like we’ve been given the best tools from our own parents on how best to raise a child. Like most working parents; we’re just doing the best we can.

Old School vs. Hippy Parenting Discipline Techniques

In my own upbringing, spanking was quite a common consequence when one of us kids refused to do something, talked at the dinner table or stated an opinion that wasn’t asked for. Complete old school and pretty heavy handed compared to our current modern day way of parenting. Yet many of the kids raised in the 60’s were brought up this way. If we had been naughty, fear of a hand slap or a belt made my brothers and sisters scramble to hide just upon hearing our dad’s car pull up in the driveway. The belt ruled supreme in my household growing up. So, with that upbringing my parenting style today consists of making sure I do the exact opposite of what my parents did. In doing that, I find that I can be kind of a push over. On occasion, I must admit, that I do feel a little resentment that she has it so easy. I’ll even try to explain to her in the middle of one of my rants how in my day we got spanked or humiliated by our parents and in some cases even our teachers’ blah, blah, blah… But, she just shrugs off what I’m saying and continues on with her bad behavior.

Old Fashioned Parenting Techniques

Old Fashioned Parenting Techniques

My husband’s parents on the other hand weren’t strict at all. He had very few household rules, no curfew, rarely disciplined and wasn’t held accountable for his grades. When on occasion he was disciplined, he’d get a very strong grumbling or a pack of cigarettes thrown at him by his parents that made him stop in his tracks immediately and do what was asked of him. Though I find that truly hard to believe, my husband swears that was the case. I just think he must have been the perfect child. My husband’s parenting technique today is a bit all over the place. He can be super easy going and just tickle our daughter in to submission, which she absolutely loves or completely walk away from a bad situation to have me step in to resolve it.

The Naughty Step Discipline Technique

My husband and I tried the Time Out or Naughty Step technique for a while. If you don’t know what it is you can find out a little about it on Super Nanny. Many of my friends who are parents swear by this technique and manage to successfully use it on their 5 year olds today. Unfortunately, this technique stopped working for us when our daughter got stronger and could fight back. Not only did my back start hurting having to place her back on the “Naughty Spot” over and over again, I found the technique to a bit too forceful at times. To be fair to the Super Nanny show, I most likely never learned to do the Naughty Step Technique correctly.

Jo Frost from the Super Nanny – Naughty Step Technique

I’m Counting to 5 or a Toy Gets Taken Away Discipline Technique

Surprisingly, I’m counting to 5 discipline technique works pretty well for us most of the time. Like most children, our daughter loves her toys. What better way to get her attention to do something we’ve asked than to threaten to take her stuff away, if she doesn’t? The counting begins after I nicely ask if she would please help me to do something and she doesn’t. I then say back to her “I’m going to start counting to 5 and if you don’t have that toy cleaned up you’ll have your Barbie bag taken away… 1, 2, 3,4, 5.” It seems that it rarely comes to 5 before she does the task at hand. Although, I must admit that there have been a few stressful occasions where the technique has failed miserably in to a full on pulling and screaming match if I didn’t grab the toy I was taking away in time.

You Better Be Nice! Cuz Santa Claus is Coming Discipline Technique

I think this past August was probably a bit too soon to start using the “Santa Claus is watching you so you better be good” technique. But, it has worked on a few occasions especially if we pretended to call Santa on the phone. We happened to get a great boost on this technique this past week thanks to a site called PortableNorthPole.com. Super well produced! A parent can have a child receive an email with a video of Santa talking directly to them using their name, age and grade they are attending. I watched our daughter awestrucked as she watched Santa talking about the gift he would bring to her ONLY if “She did a better job listening to her Mommy”.  Yes! You can design the video to challenges you and your child may be having. Nice touch PNP!

Portable North Pole
Portable North Pole Website

Whisper Principle & Color Behavioral Clip Chart Technique

I don’t know much about the Whisper Principle technique but my daughter’s Kindergarten teacher uses it quite regularly in her classroom. The only reason I know this is because when my daughter plays teacher at home, she whispers in my ear what I’m supposed to be doing if I’m not doing what she has asked of me.  Her teacher also uses a color chart in the classroom where clips move up and down on different colors depending on how well the child is behaving in class. I’m glad to see that on most days my daughter seems to be in the green. Funny thing, after a few weeks of using this chart at school she actually created her own color behavioral chart at home. Each family member including the dog was assigned a clip that she moved up and down depending on whether we had done what was asked by her.

Behavior Color Clip Chart
Behavior Color Clip Chart

After she created her own behavior chart at home, I started wondering if it would be wise to look for a more sophisticated one we could have at home. So, I went to our local  Learning Store to find out.  I was amazed at all the different charts they had. Ultimately, I decided to buy the Good for Me Reward Kit for about $20. This chart is pretty cool in that we’re able to create the tasks we want our daughter to accomplish on a daily basis. These tasks consist of picking up her toys, doing homework, brushing her teeth etc. We also decide how many stars she must earn to receive a particular cash reward.  So far it has worked pretty well for us.  So well in fact, that our daughter is in the process of saving two weeks of good behavior to earn a toy that costs more than just one weeks.

Good for Me Reward Behavior Chart
Good for Me Reward Behavior Chart

Different Parental Discipline Techniques We’ve Tried

Looking back, disciplining our daughter until she was about 2 seemed pretty easy. Though, I’m most likely suffering over what parents like to call Parental Amnesia. But, I truly feel that disciplining her got whole lot harder when she learned to say “No!”  Obviously, we should be more consistent with our disciplining style. But, some times things work and some times they don’t.  So, don’t be afraid to change it up if something isn’t working.

No doubt they’re tons of ways you can help your child make the right choices to not behave badly.  Your approach may depend on your child’s age and maturity level as well. As you can see, I’m definitely no expert. I’m just kind of winging it as I go. Hopefully, if you are having some challenges you can get some ideas from what I’ve tried so far. Truly the best advice I’ve ever heard is that in most situations when you’re child is not listening you should keep your cool. Ignore the bad, unless your child is in danger, and reward the good. It’s easier said then done, right?

In what ways do you keep your cool when your child gets a little out of control and doesn’t listen? Have any great discipline behavioral tools you like to share with our readers? Please share!

In the meantime, wishing you Happy Holidays and the best in luck in all your parenting endeavors!

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