13 Discipline Principles by Jonathan Swinton, Therapist – LDS Living Magazine



  1. Hierarchy exists in the classroom. Exercise your authority.
  2. Co-teachers be on the same page & consistent
  3. Age appropriate rules. Ensure they know them.
  4. Punishments related to infractions, not random or “go to” punishments.
  5. Age 1-10 timeouts can be effective. When kids are in timeout, don’t respond to their tantrums.
  6. No physical punishment (including spanking), it instils obedience by fear, there are better ways.
  7. Don’t yell. We want them to learn from our example.
  8. Criticize behavior not character “Use a quiet voice.” not “You are a loud-mouthed brat.”
  9. Positive reinforcement works better than Negative reinforcement by 5x. Praise them for following rules. Establish a reward system to motivate obedience.
  10. Parent Timeout – if you lose it, so will they.
  11. Chose your battles. But once chosen, win. Maintain the hierarchy or the child rules the class.
  12.  Be consistent. Don’t say “I will let it slide this time,” or “It’s easier to not deal with it.” Kids keep a tally of every time you give in and plan future rebellion.
  13. Show love. Nothing motivates kids more than knowing you will be proud of them.

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