This is part four of 10 Basic Principles of Good Parenting post based on Laurence Steinberg’s book with the same title. Here are principles seven and eight with their major concepts also listed.
7. Be consistent. “If your rules vary from day to day in an unpredictable fashion, or if you enforce them only intermittently, your child’s misbehavior is your fault, not his. Your most important disciplinary tool is consistency. Identify your non-negotiables. The more your authority is based on wisdom and not on power, the less your child will challenge it.”
- “Consistency in your daily routines will breed consistency in your parenting.”
- Have a united front as a couple especially when your child is young.
- Figure out what your non-negotiables are then be flexible with the rules while being consistent.
8. Avoid harsh discipline. “Children who are hit or slapped are more prone to fighting with other children. They are more likely to be bullies and more likely to use aggression to solve disputes with others.”
- Don’t be verbally abusive, don’t hit, slap, or beat your child. Learn to control your temper.
- Disciplinary spanking should never leave more than a minute or two of redness and never any bruising. If corporal punishment is implemented, seek out expert advice on how to do so in a way that avoids negative side effects (see ACPeds handout Guidelines for Disciplinary Spanking and position statement Corporal Punishment: A Scientific Review of Its Use in Discipline).
- The right way to punish includes…
- Identifying the act that was wrong.
- Describing the impact of the bad behavior.
- Suggesting an appropriate alternative behavior.
- Clearly stating what the punishment will be.
- Stating your expectation that your child will do better next time.
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