Category Archive:
Constructive discipline

Breaking Away

breaking away

“The finest inheritance you can give a child is to allow it to make its own way, completely on its own two feet.”   Isadora Duncan “Don’t kiss me or hug me in public, Mom,” your child says as he or she wipes off your kiss. Affection that was freely given and accepted becomes an embarrassment […]


The Difference Between Discipline and Punishment

the difference between punishment and discipline

“Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”   Proverbs 22:6 “What is the difference between disciplining a child and punishing a child?” Jeff, father to a two-year-old, wrote in his email. “I don’t see any difference. Isn’t it the same thing?” There […]


Using Words To Encourage

words encourage

As young parents, my husband and I took a video-based parenting course called “Active Parenting” developed by Michael H. Popkin, Ph.D. Impressed with all the valuable information I was able to put to immediate use, I became an Active Parenting instructor for several years. One of the many “gems” from the course was writing “letters […]


Using Love Pats

Using Love Pats

“If I don’t spank, what am I supposed to do?” asked Teri, mother to ten-month-old Mary. Teri, as a parent of a now walking and curious toddler, had reached into her parenting bag and found that spanking was her only tool for redirecting behavior. “What do you want to teach?” I said. “Well, I guess […]


Help! My Child Is Hitting Me!

Help, my child is hitting me.

Four-year-old Jason hit his mother, Rebecca, with his fists and kicked her ankles. Rebecca ignored Jason’s blows and continued listening to her friend at the coffee shop. Why was Rebecca allowing her child to abuse her? When visiting with Rebecca she told me that that the parenting tools she had to deal with Jason’s hitting […]


Avoiding Power Struggles

avoiding power struggles

“You can’t make me!” yells our darling child. Instantly our breathing quickens, our heart rate elevates, our blood pressure rises and a throb starts at the temples. At times we feel like we “have to” make our children do some things against their will. Brush their teeth. Take a bath. Get dressed. Take their medicine. […]


Different Strokes For Different Folks

different strokes for different folks

But Sammy’s mother lets them eat ice cream for breakfast. One of our parenting and teaching challenges is to explain the rules, not only in our own homes and classrooms, but in those places where we have no control. As our children’s friends and relatives visit our homes, we’ll hear the phrase, more than once, […]


Preventing Tantrums

preventing trantrums

Benjamin Franklin coined the phrase, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” in regards to fire prevention. If you’ve ever experienced a full fledged tantrum, you see how this advice might apply to tantrums. What we need is preventative parenting, the art of being able to say “yes” more often while gaining […]


Letting Kids Figure It Out

letting kids figure it out

How are you going to find a way to use words to solve problems? Use the five-step problem solving method. In last week’s column we laid some ground rules for our family: that we will work together, as we are all in the same boat; and that we do not act or speak in a […]


Offer Freedom Within Limits

offer freedom within limits

Many of the difficult situations we have with our children involves getting them to do something they don’t want to do in a reasonable amount of time. Eating, getting dressed, going to bed, or taking a bath may be familiar conflict areas. When we give our children choices we can avoid conflict. These choices, or […]