One of the hardest parts of being a parent is figuring out how to discipline your kids. They’re so cute when they’re babies, but then they get older and start talking back, hitting, biting, and refusing to share. There are a million and one parenting books out there that can’t tell you the latest on behavioral studies and exactly how to respond to your kids, but most of us need something more intuitive than that.
How you discipline your kids is personal and has a lot to do with your unique personality. To get a feel for that, you think about your own upbringing, the kind of relationship you want to have with your kids, and how you operate on a deeper level. But knowing the traits of your astrological sun sign can also give you insight. That’s why Berry’s own astrologer, Maressa Brown, gave me some helpful deets on how your zodiac sign helps shape your parenting style.
Here, a quickie guide to how you can use the zodiac to help you become a better disciplinarian when your kids’ behavior takes a turn for the shitty.
Aries (March 21–April 19)
Some parents are afraid to be the “bad guy,” but that description definitely doesn’t suit you, Aries. You’re a fiery boss lady who never shies away from a fight—even when your opponent is a 4-year-old who refuses to eat her broccoli. Sticking to your guns is a good thing, but kids won’t take you seriously if you blow your top all the time. Choose your battles carefully, and try to remember it’s not such a big deal if your toddler wants to go to Target in mismatched shoes.
Taurus (April 20-May 20)
You’re known for being stubborn, so you might stick to the same discipline strategies over and over again, even when they aren’t working. Counting down from five is awesome if it actually coaxes your kid out of the toy aisle without a tantrum, but when it stops being effective, it’s time to branch out. You could try redirecting kids away from known trouble triggers, or even sticker charts to reinforce good behavior. Don’t be afraid to step outside your comfort zone and look for new solutions.
Gemini (May 21-June 20)
You’re a natural communicator, so you pride yourself on the long, loving conversations you have with your kid. The only problem is, sometimes your rambling lectures actually leave them feeling frustrated and confused. By all means, sit down and talk about why breaking the neighbor’s Hatchimal was wrong. But, figure out exactly what you want to say ahead of time, and stick to it.
Cancer (June 21-July 22)
You’re a nurturer, which makes it hard for you to lay down the law. Luckily, the best discipline comes from a place that’s positive and loving. Focus on praising your kids for the times when they’re especially helpful, respectful, and responsible. When they do make a huge mess or get in a spat with another kid at the playground, talk to them about their choices and help them figure out how to do better next time.
Leo (July 23-August 22)
You’re loving, loyal, and generous, but you also have a tendency to be sorta self-centered. Sometimes you treat your kid’s behavior as a direct reflection of or reaction to you, rather than looking at the bigger picture. Kids screw up, and usually it’s not on purpose. They didn’t give their sibling a haircut just to spite you, so take a breather and address what they actually did, rather than jumping straight into”woe is me” mode.
Virgo (August 23-September 22)
You’re practical and compassionate, but you tend to get hung up on small details. That means you’re tempted to nitpick your kid and get upset over inconsequential things. Instead of berating them for their messy room, try praising them for their meticulously organized bookshelf, and then, use your innate positivity to encourage them to make the rest of their space look just as good.
Libra (September 23-October 22)
You’re an air sign, but that doesn’t mean you’re a helicopter mom. Your nature is to go with the flow, so you’re not easily riled. But sometimes that means you’re the mom in the restaurant who doesn’t realize her kid’s incessant kazoo-playing is annoying other patrons. You don’t have to be tough, but you do need to decide what’s acceptable in a given situation and what isn’t. Structure works best for both you and your child, so try to avoid mixed messages.
Scorpio (October 23-November 21)
Your default discipline strategy is scaring the shit out of your kid with an icy glare or an over-the-top reaction that lets them know you’re not kidding around. It kills bad behavior pretty damn quick, but it doesn’t always help your kids learn from their mistakes. By all means, bust out the evil eye if it gets them to stop giggling during story time at the library, but also follow it up with an explanation of what you expect from them next time.
Sagittarius (November 22-December 21)
You love to learn, so you’ve probably read every parenting book on Amazon and discussed them in detail with your mom group. That said, you’re also fiery and have no filter, so you let your quick tongue get the best of you sometimes. Instead of spitting out an “I told you so” when your kid breaks the bed you told them not to jump on in the first place, take a deep breath and ask yourself what the experts would do. You’re more effective when you give yourself a second to tap into your well of knowledge.
Capricorn (December 22-January 19)
You have high standards, and you expect a lot from your kids. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but you have to be careful that you don’t make them feel overworked or like they’re failing to measure up. You have no problem being a disciplinarian, but you should focus on finding ways to praise your kids too. Accept a bad grade or a shitty t-ball loss graciously, and praise them for their effort and willingness to try new things as much as you do for their successes.
Aquarius (January 20-February 18)
You tend to be quirky and unconventional—maybe even a bit eccentric—in everything you do and that includes parenting. You avoid labels, but you’re always up on the latest behavioral science, like how artificial flavors or not enough sleep affect your kids’ moods. You’re relaxed, but you’re also solution-minded, and you do your best parenting when you use your outside-the-box thinking to find creative ways to communicate your expectations to your child.
Pisces (February 19-March 20)
You’re a lover, not a fighter, and sometimes you feel your kid’s emotions so intensely that you’re tempted to do anything to make them smile—even if it means letting them off the hook. Being a big softie won’t help your kid get the memo that playing with matches is bad. Instead, use your creativity to channel your kid’s energy into an art project or even a stroll around the neighborhood. For you, redirection that prevents bad behavior is the key.