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Parenting and Discipline – Hoping to Give Some Clues

April 29, 2010

I just read the post, “Parenting and Discipline – No Clue What to Do” from BostonsMama on her whattoexpect.com blog. I really wanted to leave a comment for BostonsMama but couldn’t figure out how to without pretending that I was pregnant and registering for the WhatToExpect site. So instead I will write my comment here and maybe someday she’ll find it!

I was really struck by BostonsMama’s statement, “My frustrations with parenting and discipline run deep because my love and desire to raise Boston right run deep.  He is so important to me and I want to do right by him and prepare him for a quality life of self control and discipline when the need arrives.” I found that statement to be so powerful because I think that many parents feel that same frustration. We may hold a strong desire to raise happy and successful kids yet not always know how to get to that end.

BostsonsMama writes further about being pretty consistent and firm when she says no to her son, but that he continues to challenge her. Being firm and consistent is so important. (Read more about “saying no” to our kids here.) However, that is only of one of the steps to effective, loving discipline. We also need to develop appropriate, meaningful consequences when responding to our children’s misbehavior. We need to understand our children, their temperament, and their behavioral and emotional patterns. We also need to help them understand the connections between their emotions and their behaviors and to teach them about more acceptable alternative behaviors. It is a difficult process that demands multiple repetitions.

I am in the process of writing an empowered parenting workbook for parents of toddlers and preschoolers and would love to find BostonsMama to ask her for her feedback. If you’re not BostonsMama but can relate to her struggle, I’d welcome your feedback too. Just leave me a comment here and we’ll get in touch!

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