Crafting Gentleness

Monday, May 26, 2008

Gentle Discipline That Works ...

Looking for peaceful alternatives to yelling or spanking? These 10 tips will help you respond in healthy ways to misbehavior.

By Naomi Drew

We know discipline is essential part of parenting, but sometimes we find ourselves stumped when our kids act up. Our first reaction might be a swat on behind--but as a parent committed to peaceful solutions, I believe that kids need to learn to do what's right because it is right, not because they fear punishment. Certainly consequences are necessary, but good behavior motivated by fear is more about avoidance than the intrinsic desire to do the right thing. Harsh, punitive reactions can lead to aggressiveness or passivity in kids. In extreme cases, physical punishment can cross the line into abuse. We may get the short-term result we seek, but in the long term, children learn that might makes right, a scenario we're seeing acted out in schoolyards where bullying is at an all-time high. Think about what the ultimate goal of discipline is—to help kids develop a strong internal moral compass, a healthy psyche. What can we do to foster good behavior in positive ways, and how can we respond when our kids misbehave?

More from Naomi Drew here:

(It's a link to the introduction to Peaceful Parents, Peaceful Kids: Practical Ways to Build a Happy Home)


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