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The Easiest Discipline System for Kids That Actually Works

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One of the biggest challenges for parents is finding a discipline system for kids that actually works. If you’ve struggled with this, I have great news. Years ago I discovered the easiest discipline system for kids and it absolutely delivers results! It’s one of my very favorite parenting tips to share with other parents.

a girl hugging her brother outside on the grass with title text reading The Easiest Discipline System for Kids That Actually Works

The best part is – it doesn’t involve yelling, nagging, or tears. Yes, really.

The “X” Discipline System for Kids

In my house, we refer to it as the “X” system.


The first step is to sit down and come up with the rules. You want to keep the system simple and your expectations reasonable. Ideally, your list will be limited to 3-5 rules. Here’s an example of what your rules might look like:

three rules on a graphic


Next, figure out the 7 things that matter most for EACH of your children. Then rank them in order with 1 being the thing on the list they care about least and 7 being the thing that matters to them most.

Examples of things that might be on your list are:

  • TV
  • Cell phone
  • Dessert
  • Playing with friends
  • Staying up past bedtime on weekends
  • Video games

Your children each have their own unique personalities so it’s important to make a list that’s unique for each of them.


Then, print off the weekly chart (shown below) and write each child’s name next to one of the tables. Starting with the 4th box in the first row, write in an item from the list and fill in the boxes until #7 on the list is in the last box of the table. Do this for each of your children.


Laminate the sheet or place it inside a plastic page protector and place it somewhere convenient (on the refrigerator, on a bulletin board, taped inside a cabinet or closet door).

Each time a child violates a rule (e.g. forgets to hang up backpack after school), have him X off one of the boxes. Each child gets 3 free boxes. After that, they start losing privileges. Once it’s marked off on the chart, they lose that privilege for the rest of the week. NO EXCEPTIONS.


This system works amazingly well. You don’t do any yelling. You don’t have to make up consequences on the spot. It sets clear expectations for your children. This is a foolproof system in my house. We usually use it for a month or two to straighten up behavior and then put it away for awhile. You don’t need to continue it forever, only when behavior starts to get sloppy again.

If this system still seems too complex, try a Consequence Jar instead.

Consequence Jar with hearts and the words Uh Oh on it, with slips of paper inside

Or, if you prefer a positive reinforcement system, you might have greater success with the Reward Jar system.

Reward Jar with slips of paper inside and a label on the outside with the words Good Job on it

3 thoughts on “The Easiest Discipline System for Kids That Actually Works”

  1. This is EXTREMELY effective for my 8 year old who LOVES to argue….can’t argue with a piece of paper LOL….I wrote out the 7 privileges on a paper…cut them out and had him arrange them in order of importance. …. So effective and resets on Fridays at 8am so it gives us a good weekend of him TRYING to behave…. THANK YOU so much for sharing this!!!

  2. I think this is a really great idea! I have been struggling with my 6-year-old lately, and haven’t found an effective way to encourage her to improve her behavior. I am definitely giving this a try. Thank you for the idea!

    • Let me know what you think after you’ve tried it. For some reason, this is super effective with my kids. So effective, in fact, that now I only have to threaten to bring back the X charts and they get back on track.


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