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Making the Change From Corporal Punishment to Positive Discipline

A. Whoops. I think we have another misunderstanding. I don't believe discipline with words is any more effective than corporal punishment. Words usually mean lectures, scolding, and sometimes blaming and shaming. Even when words are meant to reason, the child usually doesn't listenónot just if there has been corporal punishmentóbecause they tune out lectures. When parents who have been using corporal punishment decide to start using discipline that is empowering and teaches life skills (many suggestions for this process are in all of our books) it is effective when they apologize to their children. "I'm really sorry. I just didn't know better. Now I do. I would appreciate your forgiveness and your help in working together respectfully." Children are very forgiving when they hear a sincere apology. Then, the key to discipline that is effective is to get children involved in as many ways as possible through family meetings where they participate in finding solutions to any problem, asking for their help, giving them choices, letting them help create routines, asking what and how questions instead of telling, i.e., "What happened, what caused it to happen, how to you feel about the results, what did you learn from this, how can you use what you learned to prevent the problem in the future, what ideas to you have to fix the problem now?" These are just a few ideas. There are hundreds more in all of our books.


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