As we think about the coming new year we are going to share more of our suggestions regarding some of the greatest concerns that parents tell us they have raising their children. We begin with a fundamental question, “Is There a difference between discipline and punishment?” Although commonly interchanged there are distinct differences between a punishment approach to child rearing and a discipline approach. A punishment such as a removal of privileges, or a quick spank takes little time for a parent to administer. However, although swift, it tends to diminish the self-respect of the individual receiving it while simultaneously shifting responsibility from the “punishee” to the “punisher.” Discipline is often more challenging and time consuming because of the need to engage in discussion and processing. The only way for a child to truly take responsibility for his behavior and commit to changing that behavior is through dialogue and coaching.
“Isn’t negotiating with a child just an excuse for being a pushover parent?” Many parents get uptight when they hear or read that negotiating with children is a good idea. This reaction is rather surprising when we consider how important negotiating skills are in order to be successful in our personal and work lives. Somehow there is a misperception that negotiating with adults is OK but when we do it with children there is a loss of power. Negotiating is empowering for all parties regardless of their age.
We are often asked “What’s wrong with an occasional spanking when my child misbehaves? My parents did it to me and I turned out OK.” There are very limited times where physical force is appropriate. The price we pay for resorting to violent means to control behavior is great. The most significant consequence is that we are modeling through our behavior that violence is an acceptable way to resolve problems. After the spanking, the event is over. When we use a discipline approach instead, we get to the heart of the misbehavior, and instill individual responsibility that will keep a child from repeating the offense.
We also deal with concerns about relocating, peer influence, managing technology, behavior modification, parenting teens, sharing our mistakes and school concerns.
If you would like a free copy of our “20 Secrets To Growing A Great Family” just email us at info@GrowingGreatRelationships.com
We wish you all a wonderful new year of growing your family great!