The concept behind taking away privileges as a method of discipline is that you are taking away something that the child wants or will miss as a result of misbehaving. This is a method that can work very effectively in all age groups, if done right. There are a few pointers to making this an effective method of teaching.
- Follow through. Do not take away a privilege you are not willing to follow through on. For example, don’t tell your child that you are going to take away watching TV for the rest of the day and then allow your child to watch later that night.
- Only take away wants not needs. For example, take away TV time, computer games, video games, toys, but DO NOT take away meals.
- Choose something of value to your child. If your child won’t miss what you have taken away, you will not effect change. For example, do not only take away the Nintendo DS when your child also has a GameBoy and Wii that he or she is still allowed to play with.
- Try to make the privilege lost match the misbehavior. For example, if your teenager isn’t getting homework done because time spent on the computer or phone, take way computer (except for homework purposes) or phone privileges.
- In younger children (under 6 years), make it immediate. If there is too much time between the misbehavior and the loss of privilege, the child will not connect the two. For example, a 3 year old isn’t going to remember that he or she can’t watch a movie in the evening because of misbehavior in the morning.