Making a decision means making choices. The fewer choices you have, the less effective you are likely to be. The more choices or alternatives you have, then the more selective you can be to craft a response appropriate for your child and the circumstances. When your choices are limited, you may be left with no alternatives if your response is unsuccessful.

Limited choices, put into action regardless of the situation, can become a crude and ineffective strategy. Like a carpenter building a chair, your effectiveness will depend on the number of tools you have. If the only tool you have is a hammer, for example, you are likely to treat everything as though it were a nail. Responsive discipline builds your toolbox so you have more flexible options.

There is no one right way to discipline

Next: Tool choices