Wednesday, January 23, 2013
WSJ Wednesday - Better Ways to Discipline Your Kids
Toward the end of the year, I caught this interesting article in the December 26, 2012 edition of The Wall Street Journal. "Smarter Ways to Discipline Kids" by Andrea Petersen states that research suggests which strategies work best. These are techniques used by psychologists to manage/cope/encourage (whatever verb you wish to use) their most difficult children, including those with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and oppositional defiant disorder.
According to the article, parents should not focus on what happens when the child acts out, but instead decide what behaviors they want to see in their kids and praise them when they see them. I find this tough, and I doubt I'm alone. Not that the child shouldn't be reprimanded when he does wrong, but that a "mild negative consequence" without shouting (very hard for me) plus praise for positive behavior goes a long way.
What doesn't work? Trying to reason with your child and overly harsh punishments (guilty as charged). Here's something I wouldn't have thought of. Psychologists at the Yale Parenting Center have found that getting kids to "practice" temper tantrums can lessen their frequency and intensity. Hmm. Who would have thought that?
What techniques have been most successful for you?