Focus on the Family

Creative Discipline Ideas

by Lisa Whelchel

As you well know, the parenting adventure is different with each child — and it's vital to recognize and adapt to your children's various temperaments, strengths, and weaknesses. Think of yourself as a sculptor shaping and molding the lives of your young ones. With each child, you may be working with a different medium. You could be endeavoring to form one youngster who appears to be as hard as marble. As an artist, you might use a chisel, hammers, even water, while sculpting your masterpiece. You may have another child who is more pliable, like clay. Even then, as a potter, you might use fire, a knife, and your bare hands.

It doesn't matter what substance you're working with, be it wood, ice, bronze, wax, sand, steel, or foam. Each raw material requires a distinct combination of tools to strike the balance between respecting its uniqueness and steadfastly pursuing the potential beauty within.

In the following articles, I will present different tools and creative ways to use them as we allow the Lord to work through us, shaping our children in His image (see Colossians 3:10). You'll see, there's no reason discipline has to be boring!

Experiment. If one idea doesn't work, try something else and come at it from another direction. But don't dismiss a failed method altogether; it may work on another child or at another stage of childhood. Believe me, your departure from the ordinary ways of correction will keep your kids on their toes, wondering what you'll next pull out of your bag of tricks. The road is long, but it doesn't have to be dull.

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Try these creative discipline ideas when your children are messy.

by Lisa Whelchel

If you're looking for ways to get your kids to clean up after themselves, try these ideas:

Bedtimes and Mealtimes

Creative discipline for bedtime and mealtime issues

by Lisa Whelchel

When your kids resist going to bed or make mealtimes unpleasant, try these tips:

Bedtime Battles

Mealtime Madness

Controlling the Tongue

Creative discipline for noisiness, disrespectful words and outbursts

by Lisa Whelchel

If your kids need helping remembering to be respectful with their words, take a look at these ideas:

Forgetfulness and Lying

Creative discipline for childish irresponsibility and for telling lies

by Lisa Whelchel

If your kids continually forget their responsibilities or are untruthful, try these discipline ideas:




Creative discipline ideas when your kids are rowdy and rambunctious

by Lisa Whelchel

When your kids get rowdy and hyper, try these tips:

Tantrums and Whining

Creative discipline for temper tantrums and whining

by Lisa Whelchel

If your kids throw fits or whine, take a look at these discipline ideas:

Throwing a Fit


Next Steps/Related Information

Additional resources on discipline

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