We try to set well-defined/predictable and not-to-harsh consequences for mischief of our 4.5-year-old: timeouts, taking away toys, refusing to play, skipping story-time, etc., but no physical punishment, long solitary timeouts or excessive shouting. Afterwards we usually talk about why the mischief was followed with a consequence.
Sometimes, our child will freak out at the threat of such a discipline measure, that they beg one parent not to tell the other parent about the mischief, in hopes of skipping or lessening the measure of discipline he's threatened by. Think:
"Ok, that's it, there's no story-time, you'll just go to sleep by yourself" "Please don't tell mommy, please, please "
It seems that such a response is a direct result of our discipline measures. The child is starting to hide the mischief even when it could be hazardous or too minor to have consequences.
We fear raising a child who will be afraid to tell their parents about any problems/mistakes/issues they are faced with, and would like to build a trusting relationship with them.
Are there any well-known/established recommendations on how to approach disciplining a child, so that they do not develop this fear-of-consequence attitude that is beginning to appear in our child?