Tagged With discipline

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When my son was a tantrum-y (and somewhat aggressive) toddler/preschooler, we spent a lot of time enforcing the time-honored tradition of the time-out. Made extra popular by Supernanny Jo Frost, the time-out seemed like a bit of a last result — and honestly not terribly effective — but we found ourselves going to it over and over, at a loss for how else to correct behaviours that were very much not OK.

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There's an episode of Everybody Loves Raymond where Ray remembers an effective parenting method he learned from his dad: AIS. Arse In Seat. He'd say, "We're leaving. 9 o'clock, AIS!" and whoever's arse was not in their seat at the designated time would be left behind. The kicker? Ray tries it on Debra, his wife. Moral: Don't try it on your wife. (Also, yeah, I used to watch a lot of Everybody Loves Raymond - don't hate.)

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Sleep habits. Fertility. Steps per day. Water consumption. There's a tracker for that -- all of that. So it probably shouldn't have surprised me to read Dr Catherine Pearlman's advice for struggling parents, and yet it kind of blew my mind. When you're trying to change your child's behaviour and you're not sure if what you're doing is working, she suggests collecting some data and analysing it.

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Many parents are moving towards “gentle parenting”, where they choose not to use rewards (sticker charts, lollies, chocolates, TV time as “bribes”) and punishments (taking away “privileges”, time-out, smacking) to encourage good behaviour, but encourage good behaviour for the sake of doing the right thing.

Gentle parents argue that to offer rewards and punishments overrides a child’s natural inclination towards appropriate behaviour by teaching them to behave in certain ways purely to receive a reward, or to avoid punishment.