How To Discipline Your Kids - By Age Group

We love our kids to death but they can be absolute jerks from time to time. For me personally, the older she gets the worse it is. I'm in the thick of the "tween" attitude phase, and am constantly grounding my daughter for the way she talks to me.

This got us thinking about discipline in general. Is it better to be strict? Or more relaxed? Check out the latest episode of Father Hoods for this discussion.

In the meantime, we did a bunch of research on the correct way to discipline your kid at any age...

  • 0-2: Punishment is not something a kid this age will understand, so it is better to just show them the correct behavior. For instance, if your kid is biting something they are not supposed to, just tell them "NO" and remove whatever they are biting from the situation.
  • 3-5: This is where the fun begins. 3 year olds are ready for time-outs. By this age a kid begins to understand the connection between actions and consequences, and can be taught that certain behavior will ultimately make their life miserable. If your little kid is throwing food and won't stop, put them on a 10 minute time out. Make sure to threaten them with the consequence first, and then ALWAYS hold true to your promise
  • 6-8: At this age the punishments can get more severe, but not so bad that the kid feels like his life is completely over. For instance, they can have their screens taken away for the entire day, but grounding them for a month would make them lose all hope. Again, make sure you keep your promise to take the iPad away if you threaten it.
  • 9-12: At this age a child can begin to learn their own lessons. For instance, if their homework isn't finished by bedtime you can let them go to school without their work done. Their teacher will let them suffer the consequences. It is EXTREMELY important to not save your kid from all of their mistakes, but instead let them learn from them. 
  • 13+: Your teenager understands a lot about life by this point, and it is important that you explain to them WHY you are setting these rules. This will improve the chances of them thinking you are not just a mean dad, but you have good reasons for doing what you're doing. Also, make sure to start letting them make some decisions by this point so they feel like they have some type of control. For instance, if your homework is not done by bedtime your phone will get taken away each time. The reason it's important to do your homework is because you want to have a successful life as an adult, and it all starts with school. However, you can make all the decisions on the clothes you buy for school within a budget.