The Most Effective Ways to Discipline a 10-Year-Old Child

Most children at the age of 10 are able to distinguish the difference between right and wrong. Ten-year-old children are also able to clearly understand and take responsibility for their wrong actions. Using effective discipline tactics on a 10-year-old child is important because it helps your child learn skills such as self-control, self-reliance and justice.


Time-out is an effective form of discipline used to separate a child from a situation and provide time for him to think about his behavior. Before placing your child in time-out, briefly explain to him the reason he is being put in time-out. Place your child in the corner of a neutral-colored room such as a den; placing your child in a boring setting will give your child an appropriate amount of undistracted thinking time. During his stay in time-out, do not allow him to speak to anyone, watch television or participate in any other physical or verbal activities. Long punishments, such as those that last 20 or 30 minutes, are not effective; instead set the amount of time to the age of the child. For example, for a 10-year-old child, the time-out should last for 10 minutes. After the 10 minutes are up, have a short discussion with your child regarding his behavior; restate the reason he was placed in time-out, why the behavior is not tolerated and ask him to make an apology. Show your child that though you didn’t like his behavior, he is still loved; this can be accomplished by giving your child a simple hug. Do not attempt to bring up his misbehavior again. For example do not tell your child, “Don’t forget to make up your bed today. You don’t want to end up in time-out again do you?”

Withholding Privileges

Withholding privileges is an effective form of discipline used to show children that all privileges come with responsibilities and must be earned; therefore, when your child misbehaves you can use the withholding method by temporarily removing an object, such as a video game, or an activity, such as playing with friends. Before taking away the valued object or activity, explain to the child what you are doing and the reason for your action. The amount of time the object or activity should be withheld solely depends on the level of misbehavior. For example, if your child continues to color in the living room after you’ve told her repeatedly that she is not permitted to do so, take away her crayons for the day and return the crayons to her the following day. Withholding privileges for longer periods of time is sufficient for behaviors such as leaving the house without your permission. When you decide to return the privilege to your child, have a brief discussion with your child regarding her behavior.


Grounding is an effective form of discipline used to show a child that there are consequences for misbehaving. Grounding a child means to restrict him to a particular place, such as his room or your home, as well as give him a goal to accomplish. For example, if your child continues to leave her bedroom messy after you’ve asked her several times to keep it clean, ground her by making her clean the messy bedroom, and then afterward restrict her to her bedroom for the remaining of the day. The restriction should exclude bathroom use as well as kitchen use, unless meals are brought to her room. After the grounding session is over, have a brief discussion with your child regarding his misbehavior. Explain to your child that his recent act of behavior does not make you love him any less.


When you are punishing a 10-year-old child, there are four rules you need to follow: Choose a method that works for you and your child; be consistent with your method of discipline; manage your anger prior to disciplining your child; and establish rules and give your child clear explanations 1. If your current method of discipline is not working for you or your child, then you need to switch to another method that is effective. For example, if your child is not big on going outdoors and she goes over to a friend’s house without your permission, do not use grounding as a method of discipline. Grounding a child who likes to stay indoors is an ineffective form of discipline. When you are enforcing the method of discipline you must be consistent. For example, if your 10-year-old child is placed in time-out and you decide to release him after three minutes, then you are not being consistent. Instead keep your child in time-out for the original length. If you are inconsistent with your method of discipline that will cause it to become ineffective over time. Also, it is important to only discipline your child when you are not angry. When your child is misbehaving, it may make you very upset; being upset will only cloud your ability to make rational decisions. Therefore, take a bit of time to yourself before choosing the method and length of discipline that is appropriate for your child’s misbehavior. Also, before disciplining your child, make sure you have clearly explained what she has done wrong, as well as made the rules clear to her beforehand 1. This will help prevent any misunderstandings between you and your child.

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