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No. 43 (Updated JAN-24-2011)

Effective discipline is crucial to proper child care and development. Discipline shouldn't be confused with punishment, it's definately not the same thing. You shouldn't feel guilty about disciplining your child or children, because you're the boss and its actually for their own good. Discipline teachs your child or children how to act around other people, how to show respect for others and acceptable behavior. It also helps make a child feel loved and very secure in their family setting. Finally, discipline is controlled by the frontal lope in your childs brain, its important to develop this part of the brain because its the more advanced part of the brain where conscious is born. The lower levels of the brain called the limbic system cause urges and desires, which include bad behavior. Children need to control their bad behavior and that's where discipline shines. Below are a few good tips on discipline: 1) Be very firm with your rules. Set limits, explain them (if your child is old enough) and most importantly enforce all rules.

2) Be very, very consistent! Your child will notice even the most subtle of differences in your rules, if you allow them. And then once your child find differences they'll try to exploit them. For example, if you allow throwing a ball inside the house one day, but not the next, you'll only confuse your child and undermine your attempts at discipline and setting rules.

3) Compromise where appropriate. Of course, if safety is concerned like holding hands while walking in a parking lot, there's no room for comprise. However, on minor things sometimes it best to find a solution you both can live with and in fact your child or children might not even notice the difference.

4) When you enforce rules, be very specific and of course assertive. For instance, "stop pulling the dogs tail" would be better than saying "stop that now!"

For additional information see
Your Child (1998 Harper Collins)/Your Adolescent (1999 Harper Collins),
and the Facts for Families:
#22 Normality
#24 Know When to Seek Help for Your Child
#25 Know Where to Seek Help for Your Child
#44 Lying
#52 Comprehensive Psychiatric Evaluation, and
#72 Children with Oppositional Defiant Disorder.

This article was written by Tim Manasterski, a staff member.

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