What Is, In Fact, More Important Than Discipline?

Parents build on their healthy relationships with their kids.

The Discipline Conundrum

You can check out my eBook that explains why many traditional discipline or behavioral management practices fail. In that respect, it’s vital to fully understand what works, and what can sometimes not work so well. Yes, we all know, as parents, that being able to effectively discipline your child is vital to their well-being. However, surprisingly, there is something that trumps discipline – there is something more important; a foundational element that, without which, you’re in a very difficult position.

Quality and Quantity

So, what is that foundational element? It’s your relationship!! The key to parenting and discipline is you and your child doing things together, laughing and enjoying each other’s company, and spending time (quality and quantity time) in fun activities. Now that Spring is here, and Summer is approaching, there are many more opportunities for such relationship-building fun, so go for it!  Even ‘not so fun’ activities can be quite bonding and reinforcing such as helping with homework or school projects, assisting in getting your child ready for bedtime… In any case, without a healthy relationship, there is no glue to connect a parental directive to the subsequent (hopefully) compliant behavior. We want our kids to comply because, ultimately, they love their parents, want their parents to be happy, want to get along and have a good relationship and realize that ‘we’re all in this together’ so I might as well do my part.

The Fear Factor

If your child is complying predominately due to a fear of punishment, then you’re in trouble. In that case, your child’s “compliance” is based on manipulation and fear, and tasks are often completed superficially and marginally.

The fun factor

Instead, build the relationship and you’ll have a “disciple” (a willing follower) and be less reliant on discipline. Don’t get me wrong; both are vital, but the former is a lot more fun 🙂