How to Discipline Boys

That term again Discipline. It is a complex thing, experts in the subject agree to disagree on many aspects about the subjects. The truth is there can never be one way of doing Different parents from different backgrounds, with different personalities raising different children under different circumstances demands different ways and approaches.

I believe that at the center on these differences there must at least be some things that we agree on. The first step towards our common ground should be in understanding what discipline is, and what it is not. Secondly i believe we understand that kids are not the same, circumstances are different even the causes of behaviors are not the same.

Understanding Discipline

Daniel J Siegel & Tina Payne Bryson in their book no drama discipline, allude that the word discipline, comes from the word discipleship which basically means the process of learning or teaching.

So what is discipline? Discipline is to study, learn, train, and apply a system of standards.

What isn’t discipline? Discipline is not rules, regulations, it is not about inflicting pain not about punishment, not about proofing a point of who is in control, it should purely be a learning moment.

During this process there are two people involved and they must be actively involved for the process to be successful, they are the teacher (parent) and a learner ( the child).

Create a conducive atmosphere for discipline.

For effective learning to take place the teacher and the learner( depending on age) should ensure that the environment is conducive for learning. The teacher must be in the right mind and state to teach and the learner must be in the right mind and space to comprehend.

Which simply means do not discipline while agitated angry and frustrated and do not discipline a child while they are defensive and frustrated.

So postpone it until you can both,be able to engage calmly. It is easier said than done but very doable. In most cases the likelihood is that when we see an uncalled-for behavior, we want to address it here and there, highly agitated and the child highly defensive because he feels attacked.

The results will be different if the two people involved can give themselves time to clam down, and come later to discuss the same subject and address the same behavior.

The first scenario will most likely end up in rebellion and feelings of disrespect, resentment , rebellion, detachment and tons of all other negative feelings, but the later scenario will produce the opposite results, the two involved will most likely feel heard, understood and respected. The second will most likely breeds deeper connection between the parent and the child. Under this atmosphere we can be sure that the teacher was able to deliver the message and the learner was able to comprehend. Mission accomplished.

Discipline produces better results in a peaceful and calm environment The two involved must be well regulated and calm. The learner and the teacher must be in the same team not against each other.

Balancing Authority with Love

In the parent child relationship the parent is an authoritative figure, S/he must provide leadership and direction. There are things s/he will permit and the are things that s/he will firmly have to stay NO to. As much as discipline does not mean punishment or inflicting pain, it also does not mean permissiveness.

Rev. Broekhuizen was quoted by James Dobson in his book raising boys that kids should know that ‘love can frown’. Kids should not be given an impression that loving them means agreeing to any and everything They must be made to understand that in loving them the best thing at times, is to say NO, the best thing might be to rebuke and correct them,

Kids especially boys need to be made to understand that they will be heard and understood, but parents are still responsible to guide and provide leadership.

Parents should also be careful not to abuse their authority. Authority should not be used to attack, oppress and shut down the little one. We are an authority because of the knowledge, experience and skills we have. These should be used to lovingly guide and nurture.

When disciplining boys especially, we should carefully note that if our discipline is going to be solemnly based on our authority and the fact that we are stronger and older than them, we are teaching them in a sense that the stronger, has the right to bully and oppress. This is most likely one of the sure ways Gender Based Violence is perpetuated within our communities.

Parents should find a way to display and model a nice and blended use of authority wrapped within love. Find a way to assert themselves without being oppressive..

Discipline Strategies

1.Natural Consequences

Natural consequences teaches kids to link their choices with the possible consequences, they understand why they have to do something rather than doing it because mommy or daddy says so.

It helps kids to understand that there are natural outcome to every good or bad behaviour and this is not brought by, by the parent it is what it is, its natural. It’s a matter of reaping what you sow.

And parents should be firm and assertive in letting the natural consequences do their work unless it is a matter of life and death, do not bail him out from reaping the fruits of what he planted. Be there to love, support,guide and teach but do not bail out. Do not also blame, shame over emphasize, preach, lecture, the natural outcomes are good enough to teach lessons you might never be able to teach them through their childhood.

Examples of natural consequences: I remember this one clearly because I experienced it as a child. I used to lose my jerseys as child, I will go to school with a new jersey and lose it just like that, for most days mom was able to make a plan to bail me out. The following day I will be warm and well clothed again. One day I guess she had enough and it was time I face the natural consequences of not taking care of my Jerseys for about a week plus, it was either I face the cold or I face the punishment from teachers for wearing some colorful jersey that was not part of the uniform. I swear I never lost a jersey again.

Other examples of natural consequences could be, if you eat all your almost allocated snack for a day in the morning, you are going to have to face the entire day without a snack, if you leave your shoes outside they are going to get wet, if the lunchbox was made available and you forget at home you will go through the day on an empty stomach.

2. Logical Consequences

In the absence of natural consequences, logical consequences could apply. Logical consequences can be determined by a parent but they are most effective when they are pre determined by the parent and the child. The both can discuss what should be the consequence of not doing assigned chores or exceeding the allocated screen time or any other behavior that is less likely to have a natural consequence

If care is not taken parents can punish kids while thinking that they are applying logical consequences. Logical consequences should be Related to the behavior, It should be Respectful , should be Reasonable and Helpful.


No doubt discipline requires Courage and consistency. Courage in allowing the natural outcomes of the behavior to run their full course without bailing them out unless its life and death matter. And consistency in applying the agreed on logical consequences. Boys more than girls have natural tendencies to test boundaries and challenge authority, hence its important to daily be courageous and consistent.

Here is To Raising Boys To Be Incredible Men




12 thoughts on “How to Discipline Boys”

  1. Hi

    Discipline is such an important issue for both boys and girls but going about the right way is such a difficult  thing to do.  You do not want to be too hard  but at the same them not to be too slack. I also believe it is important that the child realises the errors of the way but they must realise it themselves, or otherwise they will not learn. It is getting them to realise it is hard but it can be done. I think you have provided some useful insights  but only you know your child and therefore want will work and what will not. Like everything else in parenting, it is trial and error.



    • Thanks Antonio for your input. If the child is not aware of his errors, he is most likely to repeat them.

  2. I found your article most enlightening. We adopted a son and had a very difficult time raising him. He suffered from ADHD which was an added complication. Kids with ADHD have difficulty focusing and understanding instructions. It required a lot of effort to decipher if his forgetful behavior was deliberate or a result of his ADHD. 

    One of the wisest points you made was to not provide discipline immediately after an infraction but to wait until calmness prevailed. We were told by experts that an ADHD kid needed to be disciplined immediately they messed up because if it was delayed they would not remember what was it they messed up. Do you agree? It was quite a challenge as parents not to be agitated when disciplining our son at the time of the infraction. 

    Sadly, we often ended up giving punishment rather than discipline. We did mention that there would be consequences. And that was often a form of punishment rather than discipline. I wish I had read your article 20 to 30 years ago. 

    Our son is grown up now and has children of his own. Judging from the way he is raising his kids I am very proud that he is ding a better job than we did. He even  tells us how random we were with our approach when he was a kid. Perhaps he learned from us what not to do ha!

    My wife was more inclined to impart punishment and I veered on the side of discipline. But he took advantage of me as I was a pushover. We are glad that it all worked out well in the end. 

    Your title raised my eyebrow why was the article only about raising boys? Doesn’t this also apply t girls? Your final sentence answered that question. But it also gave the impression that we are stereotyping girls and boys. 



    • Thank you Edwin, I like your genuine input.I laughed at ‘ Perhaps he learned what not to do’.My blog is dedicated to grooming boys but parents raising girls will still find the info valuable .

  3. Dealing with your kid’s can sometimes make you angry and I truly understand that. For me I have two boys and most time they are with their mum and she often complains to me about how stressful they can be and I just have to keep talking to them not to be that stubborn. Seeing how to disciplinem them now I really want to share with my wife.

    • thank you Justin

      Hope you and your wife get it right. 

  4. Thank you so much for shading this here. Knowing how to discipline a child especially a boy child can make a lot of difference in knowing how to instill discipline in them. Though boy children are known to be quite hardened a lot but honestly, understanding what it takes to train them and make them better would always he a better thing. Thanks for the tips here

  5. Discipline is such an important subject for both boys and girls but it is often difficult to find the right way to go about it. You do not want to be too harsh or too lenient on your kids and it’s very hard to find that middle ground nevertheless it is important that your children receive the proper discipline from home to curb their bad habits. 

  6. Hi. I never realized that by the way we exert authority may turn a kid, a boy in particular into a bully. Kids learn from the adults and they will react as taught. That much is understandable.

    My teenage daughter wants me to come up with the solution of all that needs to be done. I often leave her to her own demise no matter how long it takes her to accomplish it. 

    As for my sister’s 10 year old son, he will try his very best to test his mother’s demands. I must say that most often than not it backfires because he is left to pay the consequences. For examples; no video game, no playing with the neighbors and extra reading time which he truly hates.

    • Hey Carol. Thank you for stopping by . Parents remain an authority in the child life but unnecessary authority should not be exerted just because we can. If things continue like this a child will have to defend himself at one point and he will be considered a bully.

  7. Loved the article! Discipline is much needed now more than ever: kids are getting access to more media; they can talk to other people around the globe in the click of a button. I believe you tackled this topic beautifully and I hope to learn more from you. Thank you, and kudos to your work!

  8. Very interesting thoughts and facts. I am the proud Dad of a girl but this helped with some peace of mind, at least now I feel like I was doing things right and I doubt myself less.

    In life you react to things as you go and you seldom have time to think things through all the way. There is just no time for all this you react and get things done for better and for worse, reading this made me think back on my decisions and evaluate the results wanted and the results that I actually got and why. 

    Great read! 


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