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What to Do When Your Kids Spell T-R-O-U-B-L-E

All kids get into trouble at some point—that’s a given. Here are some common ways a child spells T-R-O-U-B-L-E and what you should do. The T in trouble is for tantrum. When your child throws a tantrum, instead of reacting, completely ignore them. They’ll quickly stop. The R in trouble is for Rebel. For a rebellious child, validate them and let them know that you love them no matter what. The O in trouble is for...
Mar 05, 2015 / Discipline

Why Firmness Doesn't Require Harshness

When it comes to discipline, parents so often equate firmness with harshness. But the two are completely different. Firmness says that a boundary is secure and won’t be crossed without a consequence. But harshness uses angry words and intimidation to intentionally scare a child into submission.  So how can you discipline firmly without being harsh? First, show less emotion.  This will help your child focus on...
Jan 09, 2015 / Discipline

Creative Consequences for Kids

When it comes to disciplining our kids, we feel pretty confident that we know what we shouldn’t do:  we shouldn’t react in complete anger, shouldn’t scream and so on.  But knowing what we shouldn’t do doesn’t make it any easier to understand what we should do instead.  So for all of you who are struggling in knowing how to discipline your kids, here are 21 creative consequences.  First, try a “time-in” instead of...
Mar 25, 2014 / Discipline

Should You Have a Double Standard in Parenting?

The answer? No, yes, and sometimes. There are times when a double standard in parenting is wise and times when it is damaging.  To know the difference, here are 3 categories to think about. First, you should not have a double standard when it comes to the birth order of your kids.  When we have our first child, we’re in control, fresh and ready to go.  But as we have more kids over time, we begin to loosen that...
Mar 17, 2014 / Discipline

How to Tag Team in Parenting

When we were kids, we all liked to play “Tag, You’re It.”  Once a person was tagged to be “it,” they had the responsibility to tag the next person and so on.  My wife, Susan, shares 3 ways the game of tag can apply to parenting.  First, play on the same page.  Tag team parenting begins with being on the same page as our spouse so we don’t give our kids conflicting answers.  Second, we must play from different...
Mar 14, 2014 / Discipline

4 Foundational Principles of Discipline for Your Kids

You’ve probably noticed by now that each child is very unique.  And that means that you need to uniquely discipline them when they’ve disobeyed you. Each child responds to different forms of discipline.  Having said that, there are 4 foundational principles of discipline that always apply when you correct your child. First, be unified.  Make sure you and your spouse agree on how you’ll discipline your kids. ...
Feb 07, 2014 / Discipline

How to Stop Sibling Rivalry

A friend of mine with three teen boys once said they never get into fights.  Wow!  I can’t relate to that.  My mom and dad did a good job encouraging me and my two brothers to love one another, and we’re best friends today.  But we still had brotherly brawls and beat each other up on a few occasions when we were kids.  Now, I’m not advocating that, but sibling conflicts do occur.  So try not to get down about it. ...
Oct 29, 2013 / Discipline



The Family Minute is a daily radio feature that offers everyday advice on marriage, parenting, and family relationships.

Mark Merrill

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