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The Beauty of Daddy Discipline

Here’s how things go in my house – Mommy does the daily kid chasing and Dad steps in from time to time.  I’m guessing this type of ratio is similar in many households, though some may have the parents switched.  Anyway, something interesting happened recently.  My husband devised a discipline plan for one specific area of behavior – cleaning up.  It’s genius and I’m tickled pink.

First, it’s so nice to have someone else do the heavy lifting once in a while.  He certainly does it from time to time, but this might be the first regularly occurring long-term action he’s done on his own.  It’s marvelous because I get to sit back and enjoy his creativity and style.  Sometimes it’s good to hear something other than your own voice bouncing off the kids’ ears!

Most nights, but not every night, he’s been checking rooms for how well picked up they are.  He has laid out some specifics so they know what counts and what doesn’t count.  No excuses if you forget three nights in a row, you won’t get the prize!  He has given out a small chunk of candy bar just one time each.  I know he won’t turn them into walking cavities, but you could use a different reward if you wanted to avoid candy.

The looks on everyone’s faces has been priceless.  Daddy walks around the house quickly before supper, showing a coy smile as he makes his mental assessments.  They all know the announcement coming and they make their prognostications as to why they ought to win.  They have been busting their tails in a way they haven’t for me on this same topic.  I am fine with that because frankly, my energy gets too spread out sometimes and I know I’m not always effective.  And since it’s not just my voice ad nauseum, I think it allows my authority to become more concentrated again.

Everyone has won at least once now – even I won once without knowing I was part of the competition!  So the next stage is adding the basement TV area to the mix.  They each have to do their rooms and if the TV area is bad, they all get disqualified.  Now I don’t know how this will go over, hasn’t happened yet.  But I see the point.  Work individually, work collectively, learn good habits, get just enough reward to keep you sniffing for it.

Realistically, I can see that this might get handed off to me someday when it becomes better established.  I would love to see this take off as his thing only, but we’ll have to see.  I know I could always ask him for a little reinforcement or revision if necessary.  But for now, Daddy is in charge of the clean room competition.  I’ll let you know more as this unfolds.

What I love most about this right now?  Saying, “Girls, this is Daddy’s deal.  Go check with him.”

The Beauty of Daddy Discipline

Erika Krull, MS, LMHP

Erika Krull, MS, LMHP is a practicing licensed mental health counselor in Nebraska.

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APA Reference
Krull, E. (2010). The Beauty of Daddy Discipline. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 19, 2019, from


Last updated: 7 Jan 2010
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