Short Stories on Discipline for Kids

Instructor: Clio Stearns

Clio has taught education courses at the college level and has a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction.

Whether you're trying to help kids understand why good behavior matters or talk about their own struggles with behavior, it can be really helpful to have some stories on hand. This lesson provides a list of short stories about discipline for kids.

The Need for Stories on Discipline

Have you ever struggled with a discipline issue with your children? Almost all kids stretch the limits of discipline at some point over the course of their development, and often, these experiences provide for important learning opportunities. As parents and teachers, though, it's not always so easy to figure out the best way to talk to kids about behavioral expectations.

One great way to talk about discipline with kids is by using literature. When you read about discipline with kids, not only do you stretch their reading comprehension but you also provide them with a safe way to talk about some of their struggles and questions. After all, most kids would rather talk about a literary character getting in trouble than the time they got in trouble themselves! The stories in this lesson provide opportunities for you to talk and think about discipline alongside children.

Discipline Stories

Here, you'll find a list of titles and authors, as well as summaries and ideas about the ideal audience.

David Gets in Trouble, by David Shannon

Any literary exploration of discipline issues should include the David series, which follows the adventures and misadventures of a boy named David who just seems to do everything wrong. In this story, David gets in trouble through a series of accidents and misbehavior, and all of his explanations just come out like excuses. Children will find the themes and mistakes David makes familiar, and they'll benefit from the lesson that adults will love them even when they mess up. This is a great book for kids who feel bad about themselves when they get in trouble.

Where the Wild Things Are, by Maurice Sendak

This classic of children's literature has appealed to kids for multiple generations, and it deals with the theme of internal wildness and how a child can learn to tame it. In the story, Max gets in trouble for making plenty of mischief. His mother punishes him, and he develops an intense and monstrous scenario in his imagination. Once Max is able to gain control over his inner demons, he realizes that he wants to be with his mother after all. Children will pore over this story time and time again and think alongside Max about what it means to be wild or powerful.

When Sophie Gets Angry - Really, Really Angry..., by Molly Bang

Sophie is a little girl who sometimes gets really angry at the people in her family and even wants to run away. Her tantrums are explosive and hard for her family to handle, but they understand that it's sometimes their job to ride Sophie's strong feelings out. Sophie also finds ways to take care of herself, regulate her own behavior, and calm down, and she's always welcomed back into her family's fold. This is a wonderful story for children who are dealing with intense anger.

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