Discipline is about far more than responding to misbehavior. Effective discipline – teaching your son (child) character, attitudes, and skills – is something that should happen every hour and every day of your lives together. At its heart, discipline is a powerful expression of your love for your son (child). ~ Cheryl L. Erwin
Take time to listen, to play, and just to hang out with your boy. When he feels connected to you and has a sense of belonging and significance, he is less likely to misbehave
Mistakes are opportunities to learn.
Mistakes are not horrible failures; they are opportunites to learn better ways of solving problems. Clean up the mess, and then talk together about how to solve the problem. Blaming and shaming are not necessary.
Teaching Life Skills
Parents do a great many things in the name of self-esteem, eg praise their children, get their children involved in sports and activities, buy their children branded clothings and popular toys, sacrificing their own needs so their children will have what they want. But, NONE of these things will give children self-esteem.
You cannot give your son self-esteem at all; he must grow it for himself.
The best way to accomplish self-esteem is by teaching your son life skills.
When you succeed in accomplishing a task, chances are you felt proud, confident and optimistic.
Learning skills and mastering a challenge are vital to developing healthy self-esteem.
When parents do too much, children never get the opportunity to learn about their own capability and resources, and never get the chance to build their own self-esteem.
Involving your son in daily tasks at home (consider inviting him to learn skills rather than assigning him chores).
When your son knows how to do things for himself, he will develop confidence, which in turn will help him resist unhealthy peer pressure.
Your son will also develop a sense of belonging and significance when he knows he is a contributing member of his family
You must also allow your son to try – and sometimes fail. Your boy will not be damaged by failure; in fact, he can learn courage and coping skills when you allow him to try without rescuing him. Stay close and offer support, celebrate when he succeeds, and offer empathy when he fails.
Be sure to offer encouragement. Praise is usually given when someone succeeds at a task; encouragement notices the small steps along the way. Make sure your son knows that you see him trying; encourage his efforts in the right direction even when he falls short of his goal.
While the book (which is a good read and is available in the library) is specifically written for ‘raising boys’, I feel that the rule of thumb can be applied to girls too.