Child discipline for older children - The One Strike And You’re Out Technique

As your children get older, how do you teach them what’s acceptable and what’s not? It’s in their nature to test the boundaries and it’s up to you to make sure they don’t cross the line. As used on Supernanny, One-Strike-and-You’re-Out is a useful technique to discipline older children when they push too far


One Strike And You’re Out

You can expect more from older children in terms of knowing what behaviour is acceptable and what isn’t. Sitting down to run through what you expect of them with your older children can’t be a bad thing, or if there’s a recurrent discipline problem, try putting some House Rules in place.

Of course, kids are kids and at some point they’re sure to test the boundaries. The One-Strike-and-You’re-Out Technique could help you discipline children who’ve outgrown the Naughty Step, but who sometimes need to be reminded of the consequences of their behaviour.

Disciplining older children

Make sure that you and your child are both aware of what has happened and be clear on why her behaviour is unacceptable. 

  • Don’t give a warning. Remove your child from the room and tell her in an authoritative voice that her behaviour is unacceptable and that she can only come back into the room once she has apologised.
  • If she comes back into the room without apologising, don’t enter into a discussion; remove her from the room again and repeat that she can come back once she’s ready to apologise.
  • Repeat this step on any subsequent attempts to re-enter the room.
  • Once your child has apologised, praise her, give her a hug and let her join in the activity again.

Before you both return to the room, it’s worth trying to find out why the bad behaviour occurred, or whether there’s something particularly worrying her.

This might be difficult to answer, especially after you’ve just given her a telling off, so make a mental note that either you or your partner should try to talk through the incident with her at a later date.

If communication has hit a real low with your child, you might want to try something like the thought box technique to get you both talking again.

Related links

  • Talk to your teens - not at them! If you find yourself laying down the law to your tween or teen, it might be time to stop and ask yourself if preaching at them is just closing down communication between you…
  • Thought Box: Communication is the key to understanding older children's behaviour. As seen on Supernanny, a thought box could help get you and your child talking again...
  • Supporting a Studying Child: Feeling helpless as your child faces their final year at school? There are some basic things every parent can do to support their child during this challenging time.
  • The Same Page Technique: Sometimes, it’s mum and dad who need to think about where they could be going wrong. This technique is used on the show to open communication between parents.

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