Lauren’s List: Parenting Traps To Avoid

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – I’m still pretty new to this parenting thing, but two years in, and it’s time to start really learning how to best discipline my child.

In my research, I’ve learned I’ve been doing it all, or most of it, wrong!

Today’s “Lauren’s List” highlights some of the child discipline mistakes we may all be guilty of making, according to

We’re Too Negative
“No, no, no.” I feel like I say that 100 times a day. “Don’t do this, stop doing that.” But experts say instead of saying what we don’t want to see, we should tell children the behavior we do want to see. Child psychologists say the word “no” has lost its power! Instead, of saying “We don’t stand in the bathtub.” Try saying “We sit down in the bathtub because it’s slippery.” Then be sure to offer some praise when your child is sitting correctly.

We Intervene When Our Kids Annoy Us
Maybe your toddler is throwing his toys all over his room. Or your kids are playing a game and getting pretty loud. In other words, they’re acting like kids! Sometimes, parents feel the need to step in. But experts say you should try “watchful waiting” instead. If safety isn’t an issue, take a beat, and let your kids be kids.

We Not Using “Time Outs” The Right Way
Time outs have become a punishment, but they’re really supposed to be quiet time for a child to calm down. Experts say consider a “time-in” instead. Try sitting quietly with your child if he or she is really upset. Hold them if they need to settle down and ask them what they can do different next time.

We’re All Talk, No Action
Empty threats will get you nowhere fast, because kids are smart, and they’ll figure out you’re bluffing! Set limits and follow through. Second chances are okay occasionally, but don’t get in the habit of giving a third and fourth, because that conveys that cooperation is optional.

I know I make plenty of other mistakes, and I hope I’m not alone.

Tell me what discipline tricks worked and which ones didn’t for you.

Contact me on Facebook or on Twitter (@LaurenPastrana).

If you have an idea for a future “Lauren’s List”, send it to

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