Read this module OUT LOUD together:


Many of our parenting beliefs about what to do and what not to do come from our own parents.

Discipline:  Many people have many different thoughts and beliefs about discipline. It’s important to come to an agreement on basic guidelines. This will minimize future disagreements!

Talk right now about how you were raised and how you want to parent:

-Describe how your parents handled discipline. Mom? Dad?

-Did either parent yell much? Did they believe in spanking?

-What things did you agree with that they did as a parent? What did you not agree with?

-What are the most important things you want to instill in your children?

-Would you describe your home growing up as structured and routine, chaotic, or somewhere in the middle?

-Did one parent seem to have more authority or do most of the discipline?

-Which parent were you closer to growing up? Which one are you closer to now?

-If you could go back to when you were age 10, what are three things you would tell your 10-year-old self?


Work together to come up with a plan to correct behavior for a 2 year old? A 5 year old? A 15 year old? An 17.5 year old?

If you plan to have or currently have children, draft up your family’s discipline guidelines.

EXAMPLE of Discipline guidelines (these are just guidelines come up with your own):

1.We will utilize Time Out as our first line of defense using one minute of Time Out for each year of their age.

2.We will read one parenting book per year together as a couple.

3.If we decide to spank, it will never come as a surprise to our children. The rules will be posted and clearly defined.

4.If we decide to spank, spankings will only be used when the children are young.

5.If we decide to spank, we will never yell while doing so and will take a break if we get frustrated.

6.Spankings will be reserved for direct acts of defiance, not for “childish mistakes.”

7.The primary goal of discipline will be to teach and train.

8.We will speak to our children the way we would like to be spoken to in order to model good communication.

9.We will focus on Positive Reinforcement and choose to focus on the good.

10.As our children get older, we will involve them in the selection of consequences when they are necessary.

Resist the urge to say “Wait until your father/mother gets home.” That phrase tends to minimize your authority as a parent as well as paints the other parent as the “bad cop.”

Your children need to see a united front so talk through some parenting guidelines you can agree on.


Couple’s Connection:

Talk through the following questions using the good communication skill you have learned.

–Who will care for the children if they are sick?

–Discuss whether you plan to send your children to Public or Private school. Will you help them pay for college?

–Did you buy your first car? Will you want to help your children buy their first car? Will you pay for the gas/insurance?

–Who will help the children with their homework?

–Will you take turns taking children to the doctor and dentist or will one parent do it?

–Give 3 examples of how “Unrealistic expectations can fuel frustration” in parenting.

–Take time to learn realistic expectations for each age group.


Our internal thoughts play a major role in our parenting. Discuss how these two different thought patterns might affect a parent’s day.

–“These little brats are doing everything they can to drive me crazy!”

–“I can’t wait until these kids get out of my house”

–“They are being loud on purpose just to get under my skin”


–“I’m so thankful for my precious children. They are such a blessing in my life!”

–“My kids say the funniest thing!”

–“My children are adult in training so I can’t expect them to make decisions the way grown-ups do”


Real Talk:

Talk through the following issues using good conflict resolution.

Practice our formula:

When ____________ (insert factual event)

I feel _____________ (insert secondary emotions)

It would help me if_____________ (work together to brainstorm long-term solutions using compromise and negotiation. Remember to bounce the ball back and forth taking turns acknowledging your partner’s ideas/message before you give your own ideas. Visualize stepping in their shoes, try to think what they are thinking and feel what they are feeling.)

1.You and your spouse are both at work. Your child’s school nurse calls you to come get your sick child from school. You are in an important meeting and you went and picked them up last two times they were sick.Practice talking through this with your spouse.

2.Your teenager brings home two D’s on their report card. Use the above formula to show how you would discuss the issue with your teenager. Remember to step in their shoes before you begin. Think what it’s like to be a teenager. Feel what they feel. Remember what is important to them at this age.

3.Your imaginary 5-year-old keeps leaving their toys scattered all over the living room. Use the above communication formula to talk through the conflict with your 5-year-old. Remember to step in their shoes before you begin. Think what it’s like to be a teenager. Feel what they feel. Remember what is important to them at this age.

4.You tell your teenager they are grounded on Wednesday. When you come home from work on Friday, your spouse has taken them to the football game with friends. How would you talk through this?

5.You ask your 5-year-old to pick up their toys. They start crying. Your spouse says “It’s okay sweetie, you can keep playing and pick them up later.” Your child looks over at you…

6.Your children’s teacher calls you in for a parent-teacher conference. The teacher informs you that your child “Is not keeping up and is disruptive to the learning environment” and recommends you put your child in “special classes.” How would you talk through this a couple?

7.You come home from Date Night and your child has bruises on their arm that look like a hand print. Discuss how you would handle the situation. Remember to acknowledge and value your partner’s point of view as much as you want your point of view valued.

8.Your spouse is a big sports fan. You think sports are too dangerous and fear your child getting permanent damage. How could you talk through this as a couple by practicing paraphrasing and using our communication formula?


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