Don't ignore bad behavior. It will just get worse. Do something about it right away.

Mean what you say and say what you mean. If you say you're going to do or not do something, follow through.

Show in your face that you are displeased even before you open your mouth.

Physical force is not necessary. It just teaches kids that you can solve problems with violence.

A properly placed, rarely used spanking is not physical force.

Give your child some responsibility, expect that the task is accomplished on time, and – if it isn't – take something away that he cares about.

Don't try to be your child's friend. He has enough of those. He needs you to be the parent. (This hint changes as your child gets older.)

If your money buys the clothing, you should approve of the clothing. Even if your teen's money buys the clothing, if he or she lives in your home, you should approve of the clothing.

While we're on that subject, as long as your child is a resident of your home, he or she should follow your rules.

Believe your child, trust him, but VERIFY.

Always (and I seldom use that word) insist that your child uses the seat belt in any car.

When your child gets a job, require that he put most of the money into a savings fund – even if he's not thinking about college. Help him learn to save for items he wants.

Do not fight your child's battles. Counsel him on ways to solve problems, and encourage him to seek intelligent solutions, but don't let him think that you will get him out of every tight spot.

Stop your child from screaming in church, in the library, at an adult party (what's he doing there anyway?), and at mealtimes.

Insist that your child be respectful to other adults. Encourage words such as "Thank you, Please, May I, and Yes, Ma'am."

Warn your child that he must never be the one to hit anyone first. Teach him how to defend himself, but not to attack.

If your child shows destructive tendencies, get professional help. If he hurts animals, get professional help.

Don't lie to your child if you don't want him to lie to you.

A picture is worth 1000 words. Your example sets the pattern for your child's life.

The word "discipline" comes from roots – "dis"=apart and "cipere"=take or seize. When you discipline your child, you are setting him apart from the children who are undisciplined. In many ways, the words "discipline" and "disciple" are synonymous.

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO SPEAK WITH DR. SMITH ABOUT THIS OR ANOTHER EDUCATION AND FAMILY TOPIC, YOU CAN CONTACT HER AT HER EMAIL ADDRESS: JSMITH1313@CFL.RR.COM OR IN CARE OF THIS NEWSPAPER.