Choosing the Right Parenting Product to Discipline Your Child


  • Author Chris Theisen
  • Published November 5, 2022
  • Word count 388

With so many child discipline tools and parenting products on the market, how can parents be sure that they are choosing the correct one for their family?

In order to determine the compatibility of a product with their needs, parents must first ask themselves a few simple questions.

What behavior problems will I be addressing with my child?

What is the best way to address these behavior problems?

Which product best fits the needs of my child and/or my family?

Once a specific product is being considered, there are a few more questions that need to be asked.

Is the product affordable?

Is the product age-appropriate?

Is the product practical?

Is the product proven?

Do I feel that the product will make a difference?

If the above five questions can be answered with a firm "yes," then there is a good chance that the chosen product will be a good match. It is, however, important to explore all options. There's no sense in limiting yourself when it comes to your child's behavior – and ultimately, your sanity!

Some of the more popular discipline products (aka: behavior management products) that can be found on the internet are:

Behavior Contracts – written agreements that describe behavioral expectations

Behaviors Charts – itemized list of behavioral expectations with check boxes

Time-Out Mats – sitting spot for children in time-out

Token-Economy Systems – reward system that uses "tickets" or "tokens"

Discipline Programs – these vary but are similar to an "advanced behavior chart"

Incentive Charts – similar to behavior charts but more focused on rewards

Videos That Teach Character and/or Better Behavior – self-explanatory

Many of these behavior management products are highly effective - yet many of them simply put a band-aid on the problem. Something that works well for one family may be completely ineffective for another. A three-year-old will likely be more successful with a time-out mat than with a wordy behavior contract - and a teen will certainly be more successful with a behavior contract or discipline program than with a video that teaches manners or honesty (these are qualities that should hopefully have been instilled already).

If you are confused about which parenting or discipline products would best meet the needs of your child or family, try asking yourself the questions listed earlier in this article then choose the one that best meets your needs.

Chris Theisen has a BA in Psychology and spent more than 6 years working in a treatment center catering to troubled children and teens. He writes parenting-related articles and runs and with a friend of his from grade-school. Chris is a single father of two teen-aged girls and he lives in Colorado.

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