Let's be real here- All the positive parenting books in the world don't have a magical way of disciplining kids that works instantly or all the time.
I've read tons of parenting books on positive discipline, I've listened to my mom and friends who have told me they need a spank every now and then to set them straight. I've tried talking it through, time outs, distracting them, spanking, taking toys and privileges away....just about everything, I've tried.
I'm going to be completely honest. I haven't found something that works 100% in a sense that the kids don't repeat the behavior because the consequence was so bad they can't bare to go through it again. BUT, I have found a couple things that I know they don't care to do or have happen again, and I'll tell you spanking isn't one of those things. My kids have actually asked me to spank them instead because they knew it wouldn't require them to do anything and they could move on with their day faster.
Here are some of my favorite ways to discipline my children. I interchange them to keep them on their toes. So if you're feeling hopeless in the behavior department, here are some things to try out next time:
Writing the rules
Have your kids write down the family rules. I tell them to write them 20 times but of course they only do 10. And that's okay. 20 sounds like a lot to a kid so I hear a lot of groans which brings a slight satisfaction of it seeming, at least sort of, like a punishment to their bad behavior.
Now you have to have your rules written out and preferably posted so that they know that A) There are rules and B) What to write.
The bonus of this one is that they all have to be quiet while they focus on copying the rules AND they get practice writing. It's my new favorite.
I get a task checked off of my to do list and the kids get a lesson in hard work and consequences. Plus they get some fresh air and an opportunity to channel their energy in a positive way. I put a time limit of 10 minutes on it for my 6 and 8 year old, for younger I'd do 5 minutes.
Electronics go on a timeout
This makes them really upset. Their tv time is very special to them. So just threatening to take it away coupled with the follow through of actually taking it away will get their butts moving because you know your follow through is like no other. If they have an XBOX or other gaming console, a kindle/tablet, nintendo, etc., take it away and put it somewhere our of reach for a few hours or a couple of days. It depends how bad the offence was to help determine how long an item is taken away. My son called me a choice work last week and his kindle is not even a subject of topic because I can't justify it yet. It was BAD!
Those are the strategies I've been working with lately. Along with lots and lots of talking about the rules and what's expected of them as far as appropriate behavior and inappropriate behavior. It takes a lot of follow through and repetition every singe day, but you can do it and you aren't alone. Kids can be little buggers sometimes, but they are your heart and the future. Let's raise amazing humans.