5 Secrets To Discipline Without Time Out and Counting

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In this blog post, you’ll learn 5 practical strategies for disciplining your children without resorting to traditional time out or counting techniques, helping you create a more positive and effective approach to discipline in your household.

As a mom of three, I know firsthand how challenging it can be to find effective ways to discipline my children. Time out and counting are the methods that many of us were taught to use, but they don’t always seem to work as well as we’d like. They can be punitive and may not address the root cause of my child’s misbehavior.

That’s why I was excited to learn about alternative approaches to discipline that are more positive and effective. In this blog post, I’ll share with you the secrets that have helped me discipline my children without relying on time out and counting.

From setting clear expectations and using positive reinforcement to encouraging self-regulation and modeling the behavior I want to see, these strategies have made a huge difference in my parenting journey. I hope they can help you too.

Starting With Clear Expectations

Setting clear expectations and rules is crucial for helping children understand what is expected of them and for establishing a sense of order and predictability in the home. When children know what is expected of them, they are more likely to behave in appropriate ways.

Here are some tips for effectively communicating expectations and rules to children:

  1. Keep the rules simple and age-appropriate. Children, especially young ones, may have a harder time understanding and following complex rules.
  2. Clearly state the rules and explain the reasoning behind them. This will help children understand the purpose of the rules and why they are important.
  3. Use positive language. Instead of saying “Don’t run in the house,” try saying “Please walk inside the house.”
  4. Be consistent in enforcing the rules. Children need to know that the rules are not just suggestions and that they will be held accountable for their actions.
  5. Give children the opportunity to help come up with the rules. Involving them in the process of setting rules can help them feel more ownership over the rules and more motivated to follow them.

By setting clear expectations and rules and communicating them effectively to children, we can help them learn how to behave in appropriate ways.

Power Of Positive Reinforcement

Positive reinforcement is a powerful tool for encouraging good behavior in children. It involves rewarding children for exhibiting desired behaviors, which helps to increase the likelihood that they will repeat those behaviors in the future.

Some benefits of using positive reinforcement include:

  • It helps to build self-esteem and self-confidence in children.
  • It fosters a positive and supportive learning environment.
  • It can be more effective in the long-term than punishment in promoting desired behaviors.

Here are some examples of how to use positive reinforcement with children:

  • Praise: Verbal praise, such as saying “Great job following the rules!” or “I’m so proud of you for sharing,” can be a powerful way to reinforce good behavior.
  • Rewards: Giving children small rewards, such as stickers or extra playtime, for exhibiting good behavior can be a powerful motivator. It’s important to choose rewards that are meaningful to the child and that are not used too frequently.
  • Attention: Giving children extra attention and affection when they exhibit good behavior can be a powerful form of positive reinforcement. This can be as simple as giving them a hug or spending extra time reading with them.

By using positive reinforcement to encourage good behavior, we can help children feel good about themselves and more motivated to behave in positive ways.


Redirection is a discipline technique that involves guiding children towards more appropriate behaviors when they engage in inappropriate ones. It can be a helpful tool for teaching children new behaviors and for redirecting them away from undesirable ones.

Here are some suggestions for using redirection in a positive way:

  1. Focus on the behavior you want to see: Instead of saying “Stop hitting,” try saying “Please use your words to express your feelings.” This helps to redirect children’s attention towards the desired behavior.
  2. Use positive language: Use phrases like “Let’s try” or “We can” to encourage children to engage in new behaviors. Avoid using negative language like “Don’t” or “Can’t.”
  3. Use distractions: Sometimes simply redirecting children’s attention to something else can be enough to interrupt an undesirable behavior. For example, if a child is hitting, you might try distracting them with a toy or a puzzle.
  4. Provide choices: Giving children choices can help them feel more in control and can be a powerful way to redirect their behavior. For example, instead of saying “No hitting,” you might say “You can use your hands to give a gentle pat or a hug.”

By using redirection to teach new behaviors, we can help children learn how to engage in more appropriate and positive ways of interacting with the world around them.

Teach Self-Regulation Skills

Self-regulation is the ability to control one’s own emotions, thoughts, and behaviors. It is an important skill for children to learn, as it helps them to manage their own behavior and make good choices.

Here are some strategies for promoting self-regulation in children:

  1. Teach relaxation techniques: Helping children learn relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing or progressive muscle relaxation, can help them manage their emotions and behaviors.
  2. Encourage independence: Giving children age-appropriate tasks and responsibilities can help them develop a sense of autonomy and self-control.
  3. Model self-regulation: Children learn through observation and imitation. By modeling self-regulation ourselves, we can help children learn how to regulate their own behavior.
  4. Provide structure and predictability: Children often feel more in control when they know what to expect. Providing a consistent daily routine and clear rules can help children feel more secure and better able to regulate their behavior.
  5. Encourage problem-solving: Teaching children how to identify and solve problems can help them develop their own strategies for managing their behavior.

By encouraging self-regulation in children, we can help them learn how to manage their own behavior and make good choices.

Model Behavior you want to see

Children learn a lot through observation and imitation, and one of the most powerful ways for them to learn is by watching the adults in their lives. This means that it is important for adults to model the behavior we want to see in children.

Here are some tips for modeling positive behavior for children:

  1. Practice what you preach: If we want our children to be honest, we need to be honest ourselves. If we want them to be kind, we need to be kind ourselves. By modeling the behavior we want to see, we set a positive example for children to follow.
  2. Use positive language: The way we speak to and about others has a big impact on children. By using positive language, we can set a good example for children and help them learn how to communicate in a positive way.
  3. Practice self-regulation: Children learn self-regulation through observation and imitation. By modeling self-regulation ourselves, we can help children learn how to manage their own behavior and emotions.
  4. Be a good role model: Children look up to adults and often try to mimic their behavior. By being a good role model, we can set a positive example for children to follow.

By modeling the behavior we want to see in children, we can help them learn how to behave in positive and appropriate ways.

Bottom Line

In this blog post, we explored five secrets to discipline that are more positive and effective than time out and counting. We discussed the importance of setting clear expectations and rules, using positive reinforcement, redirecting children’s behavior to teach new behaviors, encouraging self-regulation, and modeling the behavior we want to see.

These alternative approaches to discipline can help children learn how to behave in a more compassionate and holistic way. We hope that you will consider incorporating some of these techniques into your parenting or teaching practices.

If you are interested in learning more about positive discipline techniques, there are many resources available. Some books on the subject include “Positive Discipline” by Jane Nelsen and “How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk” by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish. I also highly recommend the Positive Parenting Solutions online course, you can read my review here.

We hope that this blog post has given you some useful ideas and inspiration for disciplining your children in a more positive and effective way.

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