How can you discipline your child by taking away the privileges?

How can you discipline your child by taking away the privileges?

There will be times when talking would not work anymore and you got to be strict. Taking away privileges is one of the most common, yet very effective way to discipline your kid. Privileges may be anything that your kid enjoys, be it a toy, an activity or any of your kid’s belongings. Not all parents resort to this approach, but some find it very useful for their families.

What comes under a privilege?

You need to understand that privilege is different from a right. Rights are simply the things your kid is entitled to in his daily life to satisfy his needs. For instance: Food, water or being loved. On the other hand, the privilege could be going to a friend’s house or watching TV.

When you take away a privilege, you should always keep in mind to behave normally with your kid and not with anger or any form of ways to express your dissatisfaction. Doing so, in itself is a punishment for your kid and would make him feel bad about himself.

Disciplining through privileges:

When you take away something important from you kid it is, in fact, a consequence of their inappropriate actions. Or say the negative consequence. It could be for any period according to your understanding and choice and you know your kid better.

Let say, you take away the privilege of your child watching cartoon until he completes the homework or your kid cannot go to the park with his/her friends to play, for misbehaving with their younger sibling. This strategy is to be used when there is no natural consequence for their mistake.

For instance, if your child does not clean his room, the natural consequence is that they would not find their books and will be late to school. But if you kid still chooses to not clear the mess, taking away a privilege like “No playing with the toys today”; could be the consequence you enforce.

Disciplining through privileges

Negative and Logical Consequence:

When you decide to take away a privilege from your child, be wise to decide which thing it should be. If you choose to take away his/her toys, it will be a negative consequence if only your child is affected by the lose of toys. Remember that not every child will be affected with the same consequence as one cares about the toys, then the other might care about the video game.

The logical consequence is when to take away a privilege related to the violation of rule committed by your kid. For instance, if your kid comes home late as they’ve been hanging around with their friends, you take away the privilege of staying with their friends for a day or two.

how to take away a privilege

When and how to take away a privilege:

You need to decide upon the right situation of when to take away something from your kid. You could not choose to do it all the time and for the slightest of things.
1. Plan ahead about the behaviours you are targeting and the privileges you are willing to take away.
2. Warn your child before you take away a privilege (If you don’t sleep early, no TV in the afternoon). You might choose not to give a warning for aggressive or dangerous acts (Kicking or running on the road).

3. If your child corrects himself at that instance or improves, do not forget to praise.
4. If they continue to do the same thing despite the warning, go ahead and take away the privilege.
5. There may be chances that your kid may still do the same thing, that’s when you may take another privilege away or use time outs.

Note: There are certain things which you should keep in mind before taking away a privilege.
• When you choose to opt for this disciplining method, do not be harsh and choose to be reasonable. Taking away the bike for a month could be harsh and difficult to stick to.
• Be specific about the time periods of the loss.
• Do not decide on something that might affect negatively. If you choose to ask your child to miss the game, it might affect the entire team. Although, missing a couple of hours of TV could be healthy.

Lastly, be consistent. The important point here to know that everything they do, results to be either positive or negative. There can also be chances where you give in seeing your child upset over the loss of the computer. That’s ok and normal. But do not do it all the time as you are trying to teach your kid the consequences with a loophole all the time.


1. Take away items or opportunities that your kid might care about losing.
2. Give warning before you do so and specify the time limits.
3. Choose to take away privileges when there is no natural consequence.
4. It could either be a negative consequence or logical consequence.

How can you discipline your child by taking away the privileges?

What comes under a privilege?

Disciplining through privileges:

Negative and Logical Consequence

When and how to take away a privilege

Taking away privileges

You need to understand that privilege is different from the right

teach your kid the consequences


Malathi A Ganesh is a B. Com Graduate, NTT, M.A (Lit), PGDEA (PG in Education Administration), PGDCA (PG Diploma in Computer Application), DTE (Diploma in Teaching English), ICEPT (International Certificate in Education Preschool Teaching) from Singapore and B. Ed. She has been in the field of education for the past 20 years and has an experience of running her own pre-school She is the Founder & Director Academics of Smartkidz Educare India Pvt Ltd with 275+ play schools Pan India. She is an Educationist and a Child Psychologists by profession who wants to fulfill her dream of giving Quality Education to children in their earlier years. She is also into conducting positive parenting workshops, which talks about effective child rearing. She has conducted numerous parenting workshops in all her pre schools, schools and MNC’s.

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