Use assertive discipline

Discipline isn’t a dirty word. In fact, assertive discipline helps children understand that their behaviour always has consequences and that those consequences are carried out in a predictable, loving environment. This means your child will feel safe and secure and will know what to expect.


Assertive discipline not only helps children learn to accept responsibility for their behaviour, it also helps them learn to consider the feelings and needs of others. And it helps them develop self-control too.


For parents, assertive discipline means you are prepared. You set clear ground rules and let your child know what to do rather than what not to do. You give clear, calm instructions and are consistent from one day to the next. Your child will soon learn that you always follow through. They know that you mean what you say!


But you also don’t have to jump on every minor problem. Ignore misbehaviour you think is an attempt to get attention. Don’t make a fuss and it may go away.


If set rules are broken, act quickly, stay calm and follow up with fair, age- and developmentally-appropriate consequences, such as taking away a toy for a few minutes.


And remember to praise behaviour you like. Try to catch your child following rules and congratulate them for it – especially when they’re learning something new.

Stepping Stones Triple P’s Seven Steps to Positive Parenting

“Use assertive discipline” is one of Stepping Stones Triple P’s seven steps to positive parenting. Find out about the others and how they can make parenting easier. Here are some hot parenting topics to get you thinking about how to use assertive discipline:

It can take time to adjust to having a child with a disability

Read Stepping Stones’ fourth step to positive parenting to find out more

Having lots of behaviour problems with your child?

Check out Standard Stepping Stones Triple P