Disciplineis important to a child’s development, but knowing how and when to discipline can be a parenting challenge. Setting clear rules and limits, establishing consequences, and being fair and consistent with follow-through is vital to helping children learn self-control and manage behavior. Constructive and appropriate discipline doesn’t just improve behavior at home—it teaches a child how to manage frustrations and challenges throughout life.
Discipline is a way of helping a child to develop self-control, and teaching and guiding a child by setting limits—not punishing. Though newborns do not need discipline (and cannot be spoiled), by four to six months, you can begin to teach about behavior through your response. If a baby keeps grabbing your earrings while on your lap, for example, calmly let her know you don’t like it and set her down for a moment. From a young age, you can be consistent in setting limits and consequences to help your child learn.