The '3 F's' for Effective Parenting - SBH Health System
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By Dr. Sheryl Kho, Pediatric Behavior & Development Specialist

Developing Effective Parenting Skills

Being a parent is no easy job. Children are not born with a manual. You and your child may have different temperaments or personalities that may make it more challenging to address common behavioral problems.

The goal of parenting is to teach kids self-discipline. Oftentimes, parents feel that spanking is the most effective way to discipline a child. By learning and applying the 3 F’s of discipline, parents find that discipline through yelling, spanking or screaming disappear and positive relationships as well as improved behaviors are fostered.

Here are the ‘3 F’s’ for disciplining your child:

Firm
Consequences should be clearly stated and then adhered to when the inappropriate behavior occurs.

Fair
The punishment should fit the crime. Also in the case of recurring behavior, consequences should be stated in advance so the child knows what to expect. Harsh punishment is not necessary. Using a simple ‘Time Out’ can be effective when it is used consistently every time the behavior occurs. Also, use of reward for a period of time like part of a day or a whole day when no Time Outs or maybe only one Time Out is received. Praising your child is a powerful tool!

Friendly
Use a friendly but firm communication style when letting a child know they have behaved inappropriately and let them know they will receive the “agreed upon” consequence. Encourage them to try to remember what they should do instead to avoid future consequences. Work at “catching them being good” and praise them for appropriate behavior.