1. Stand firm.
We all hate conflict, but if you don’t stick to the rules and consequences you set up, your kids aren’t likely to either, says Wooding.
2. Pick your battles.
Give the small things small attention and the big things big attention, and you’ll be happier and calmer — and (bonus!) your children will be happier, calmer and better behaved too, says Pantley.
3. Praise, don’t punish.
Try to practise “good feeling” discipline most of the time, says Radcliffe. “Simply put, your tone of voice, your behaviour, the words you’re using, should all feel good to your child 80 percent of the time. If you can do that, you can do no wrong.”
4. Set clear rules and expectations.
A carefully selected bunch of age-appropriate rules can make family life a whole lot smoother and easier, says Radcliffe. For example, the “no cookies before dinner” rule prevents regular arguments about snacking before supper. The “no computer after 10 p.m.” rule stops a nightly dispute about shutting down the PC.
5. Provide unconditional love.
Yes, it’s a no-brainer, but children need to know you love them, every day, even when they’ve done something bad.