Stages of Discipline for Boys

Let’s wrap up our series of posts about raising good men.  I  like this quote:  “Without a seasoned heart connection between parents and sons, the teenage years feel like wartime…..The balancing of limit-setting and parent-son relationships begins at a boy’s birth.  The father who waits to become alive in the family until his son is a teenager and making trouble puts himself at a great disadvantage; he will have little effect with his son.  If he starts “laying down the law” the son can just leave.  A thirteen-year-old can live for days by going from one friend’s house to another.”

Discipline, as I have written about time and time again, begins with CONNECTION:

Here are some ideas for discipline and general parenting through age 12.  Please do take what resonates with you and leave the rest behind.

Ideas For Birth- Age 7

  • Closeness and connection through breastfeeding, baby-wearing, co-sleeping, warmth, and lots of time together lay a great foundation for this attachment and connection that becomes the foundation of discipline.
  • Protection of the senses is very important. I have written so much about this on this blog that I am not going to go into all of that here; the other issue to consider is how we deal with a boy’s feeling/emotional life.  It is important to not let your own baggage, your own sense of worry and anxiousness and inadequacies color how you present the world to your child.  Work through your own stuff and you will be a much better parent. 
  • We always need to remember that small children view things much differently than an adult does.  Small children under the age of 7 have an entirely different consciousness. 
  • How will you supervise and structure the day of your small son?  A four and five year old little boy especially needs structure and a way to get physical energy out – they will most likely need to do this first thing in the morning and again in the afternoon.  Life will not go smoothly without this!
  • Boys need to know the rules of your family and they need you to be kind, fair and calm. 

AGE 8- AGE 12:  Suggestions for parenting:

  • You must be involved, because “the boy is no longer satisfied with free play.  He wants to go further, to master physical challenges, make things, and build with a goal in mind.  He requires more parental involvement in planning, supervising, and providing opportunities at home and in the world that help him develop the skills he craves.” – from “Raising A Son” by Rick Johnson
  • Positive role models are very important!
  • Help your son experience success and the value of persistence in learning.  Help boys sample lots of different kinds of skills so they can find their own talents and abilities.    Music lessons, carpentry, drama are all important for this age. 
  • Boys of this age CRAVE time with their fathers and still need their mothers.
  • Boys of this age are working on building up their self-esteem, and how they deal with relationships.  Help them.
  • Children of this age are still impulsive and don’t think things through, so they still need rules that are fair and boundaries to help them.
  • Sexuality is now a topic of interest, so  think how you would like to approach this. There was just a great discussion about this topic over on Melisa Nielsen’s Yahoo!Group at .  Please do join in!

Many blessings,


3 thoughts on “Stages of Discipline for Boys

  1. So true Carrie – my 4yr old boy just really needs to get his energy out in the morning especially. It just isn’t the same trying to provide movement indoors. And kids just really don’t mind what the wheather is saying!!!

    I am finding it quite hard to adjust to the needs of all. Having 4 all so young I feel constantly torn with who needs what. I ‘m working on it though, with the help of resources like this!

    With regards to future postings I was hoping to get some advice on ‘making requests of my children’. Things like getting dressed, coming in from the garden, putting shoes on etc… I really try to be very animated, physical and pictorial i.e. saying things like this coat needs a body to cuddle, please someone let me wrap myself around you (you know the thing). It’s just sometimes my kids just then think that we are having some wild play and it excites them to the point that they run away and I’m chasing them around the house!!! I want it to be fun but I do also want to get out of the door! Also when getting dressed in the morning I am trying for my 4 and 5yr olds to get dressed by themselves (they are both physically able to) but they seem to forget just dawddle and lounge etc… I try to encourage and play but as I have a 1 and 2yr old I am often caught up with them. Ahhh joys of being a mother!!!

    Reading back my post I think that I have just realised that having 4 very small children is going to be challenging and perhaps just trying different things i.e getting dressed all together, moving together from room to bathroom etc willl help? Actually just typing this down has helped. I feel enlightened.

    Thanks Carrie

  2. Thanks so much for sharing this. It comes at just the right time for me.
    One thing I struggle with my 6 year old is that he is often very negative about everything. From getting out of the bed to getting active in the morning he is just very resistant. He probably does need to do something active first thing but he often wants nothing to do with going for a bike ride or anything suggested. He does have a hard time with transitions…. so I know the trick must be in that, but he’ll often end up just inside all day playing unless I make them go out.

    But first, we have to make it through breakfast…
    He’s also my grumpy bear when he is hungry and can quickly go from that to angry, unhappy, and unwilling to help or be helped. He’s old enough to help himself to breakfast if he cannot wait for me to help his younger sister, for example. I may suggest this to him and he will refuse. But then he will refuse my attempt to help him when we are able to have breakfast together and say something unreasonable (like to go out to a restaurant for breakfast). He dislikes anything that I would suggest to him and I quickly turn to just offering a simple 2 choice option (I’ll make you yogurt or eggs).
    I find that I usually just go ahead and fix breakfast for my daughter and myself and at some point he decides to eat with us but it is just extremely hard to handle (and stay calm and reasonable myself).

    I just find the two related situations hard to handle and still understand his age. He is capable of taking care of himself but I know if he doesn’t eat we will all have a horrid day. I don’t know how to help him and especially it is hard when his attitude is that he ‘hates’ everything- even things that he normally finds fun.

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