How to Keep from Murdering my Child: Discipline pointers to survive the pandemic

How to keep from murdering my child!

 Discipline pointers to survive in the Pandemic

Right about now you might be feeling you are being punished spending 24-7 with your children. You are wondering about discipline, punishment or that M-word- Murder!

Believe me, you are not alone. There are many out there feeling the same way you do.

Good news, I have answers to disciplining without threats, bribes, or punishment.

You can have peace in your home and everyone can be happy and safe.

Sometimes problems occur because we have no plan as to how we will deal with the behaviors of our children. How we will respond with appropriate behavior as well as inappropriate behavior. We are often confused about the difference between discipline and punishment. Some think both are the same. What do you think? Let’s just go through a few definitions.  What is the difference between discipline and punishment?

The Root word of discipline is disciple or learner.  We are training to develop self- control when we discipline.

Punishment is punitive action triggered by anger or embarrassment. When we get angry or embarrassed we lash out many times hitting, jerking, pinching, yelling anything that is inflicting pain or hurt intended as punishment. Sometime you feel satisfied thinking “I showed them who the boss is”.  The satisfaction is short lived when the same thing happens again. That’s when we see punishment does not teach self control, it just produces hostility and frustration on the part of the parent and the outcome is fear and guilt on the part of the child.

Discipline is training for correction-correct future deeds so that this behavior will not happen again. This training is seen as love and concern on the part of the parent. The child will then feels secure and can trust the parent.

So the question still remains, what do I do when I feel like M________ my child? First of all think about how you would feel the rest of your life if you brought any severe harm to your child, let along the M word.

Next let’s evaluate your feelings. Look deep down within, you really love this child but at this moment you feel otherwise.

Ask yourself:

  • Am I tired?
  • Do I feel sick?
  • Is this child reminding me of someone else?
  • Do I wish to be alone?
  • Would I like to escape from reality right now?

When you can identify your feelings then you are ready to consider options to deal with your immediate situation.

Let’s look at each one. If you are tired, let your child know. It is alright to have a “time out” for yourself.

If you are sick and you are the only one there, call and get help. If the child is old enough let the child/children know how you are feeling and you will probably get help from him/them.

If your child is behaving like someone you don’t feel too positive about now, you have to talk to yourself. Can your child help it if he reminds you of his Dad or Mom who hurt you so? Pray for love to overrule and look at your child differently so you can respond differently.

The last two statements have to be worked out during your quiet time alone in prayer. Here you admit your feelings and remember this child is a gift from God and He will give you strength to endure the trying times. Therapy is also very important in helping us with deep hurts and anger.  Get help!

Now let’s consider some discipline pointers:

Kay Kuzma says keep your child’s love cup filled.

Ways to Fill Your Child’s Love Cup

  • Give attention: Children equate love and attention
  • Be a good example in word and action.
  • Use words that protect and preserve children’s feelings (self-esteem) that they are lovable and capable.

How to empty your child’s love cup

  • Expressing approval only when a child is good. This is loving a child conditionally.
  • Threatening the child in an attempt to correct him.
  • Expressing a relentless critical attitude.
  • Screaming at the child.
  • Expressing disappointment or disgust.
  • Giving the “silent treatment.”
  • Being too busy to give attention
  • Using a child’s name in a negative manner.

You have the power to change your child’s misbehavior by simply filling his love cup!

Occasionally   threats and bribes are used to get our children to do what we want them to do.

What does a threat sound like?

  • Gives a condition
  • Promises something to stop the behavior
  • Makes a deal: If you do this I’ll do that….If you don’t do this I’ll do this
  • Masks embarrassment


Remember we said punishment causes fear, resentment, and lack of trust. Threats and bribes do not teach self control but makes a deal with the child.

So what’s the answer? Logical consequences!!

Requirements before starting logical consequences.

Have a family meeting:

  • Clarify expectations
  • Decide on the logical consequence that will go with each situation
  • Have the child verbalize the agreement
  • Decide on weekly checkups

The Logic behind Logical Consequences

  • A logical consequence is a reasonable and predictable outcome as a result of a given behavior.
  • It occurs when both parent and child come to a clear prior understanding of exactly what will follow when the child does or does not do something.
  • It is most important that the understanding between the parent and child has been established.

Steps in Applying Logical Consequences

  • Choice (give your child a choice) consider age
  • Tone of voice (friendly tone that communicates respect, acceptance and love)
  • Make the consequence logical
  • Assure another chance
  • Extend the time (if child repeats misbehavior, extend the time that must elapse before he or she may try again)
  • Offer the children choices only when you are willing to abide by their decisions.
  • Catch your children being good; give affirmation with loving words of kindness.

Now let’s consider some examples of logical consequences. Remember, logical means it has to make sense and develops responsibility. For example, if you called the child to come for dinner, the consequence would be to miss dinner. Now if you say because you didn’t come to dinner when I called you, you can’t look at TV tonight. This consequence does not teach the child to come to dinner when called. On the other hand if the child doesn’t cut the TV off when told, they watch for a shorter time or not that night. These consequences are not a surprise because you have had your family meeting and discussed and decided on the consequences beforehand.

Here are a few other examples…

  • Child doesn’t clean up toys—toys a put away for a while and an agreement is made that if he/she wants to play with toy they will have to be put up.
  • Child does not want to eat what you have for dinner—- They choose to go hungry.
  • Child takes too long to get ready for bed.—-Loses chance for a story.

This is developing a responsible child. They know they can trust you to do what you say and the consistency develops love between you and your child.

Remember God allows us to reap the consequences of our behavior.

It takes practice to come up with logical consequences, below I’m giving you a few examples to show how you how you can sabotage logical consequences.  Keep working on using logical consequences  and enjoy the peace that will come into your home because you don’t have to get upset and the child know what to expect.

Ways to Sabotage Logical Consequences

  • Feel sorry for the child, giving in to his or her demands.
  • Give the child a second chance.
  • Take a punitive attitude, show impatience, ridicule, humiliate, shame or retaliate.


  • Insist that the consequences be one where the child suffers in order to learn to behave more appropriately.


  • Be inconsistent about following through with consequences.


  • Work on too many behaviors at a time.


  • Feel guilty.


  • Give way to expedience.


  • Expect standards of behavior from the child not expected of the adult.


  • Rub it in: “I told you so” statements will do the trick.


  • Display anger, yell, demand action or use a threatening tone of voice.


            Excerpted from ”Principles of Logical Consequences in a Democratic Setting” by John and Ann Platt with contribution by Helen Millman-Stanbaugh and Floyd Pepper, in Teacher Study Group Leader’s Manual,  written by Cheryl Asselin, Tom Nelson, and John M. Platt.  (Alfred Adler Institute of Chicago, 1975.)


It is hoped this BLOG has been helpful. I am available to have Zoom meetings. Please go to my website and send a message to

You can find more help in my book, Children are Gifts: A Parent’s Guide to Raising Gifted, Confident, And Happy Children. Order a book today!









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