Sunday Surf: Discipline

[This post is a followup to Parenting with a Little Perspective.]

Here are two scenarios involving discipline that have been happening in my house, on the playground, in the car — everywhere! You know, the situations that drive you nuts because they test your beliefs and push you to your limits….those times when things creep in like yelling, threats, shame-inducing tones….

Scenario 1:

My 2 year old daughter is holding an object that isn’t safe or for her. I say “That isn’t a toy and it can hurt you. Put it back.” My daughter looks at me, her face now clearly annoyed, and throws whatever it is. (Sometimes this is dangerous and scares me.)

Scenario 2:

My daughter wants something. I don’t respond quickly enough, or she can’t have or do what she is wanting. She becomes an inconsolable heap of angry, messy sobs and spitty, mumbled words.

Here are some articles around discipline and conflict that I have been thinking about and finding helpful. Gentle, positive, alternative to spanking and yelling–call it what you want. These articles offer ways to relate to our children with clear respect and love, even in the roughest moments.

5 Reasons Why Toddlers Don’t Need Redirection

Redirection is a common trick parents are told to use, but what does it teach? I know I thought of it as a go-to strategy for a while. Sometimes distraction is an appropriate tool, but this article calls into question the effectiveness and reasoning behind redirection and distraction, especially without acknowledgement of the situation at hand.

Alternative Discipline: Life without Punishment

The transformation of this mama is clear. The intro says everything that’s on the minds of many:

I was raised to believe that children are sneaky and manipulative, and the only way to have an orderly household is to punish early and often — to include spanking, withholding meals, and liberal groundings. While I didn’t buy into all of this (I didn’t like it being done to me, why would I think it would foster a good relationship with my own children?), I still thought someform of punishment was necessary. After all, if you didn’t punish, how on earth would a child learn not to do certain things? 

…..Needless to say, she figures it out!

Positive Parenting Is Not Permissive

Clear article about setting limits, being a empathetic and proactive leader and teaching appropriate behavior all without punishment, demands or threats.

Gentle Discipline In Action (Seeing Is Believing)

Want a cooperative 14 month old? Is it possible for a child that young to cooperate? This video shows that it’s possible for children that young to show restraint and impulse control without being manipulated or forced.

Gentle Discipline: Dealing with Hitting

Hitting is such a common issue with toddlers and in general. How can parents deal with hitting without punishment when it is just not acceptable behavior?

Positive Parenting in Action: Aggressive Behavior

Similar to the above, but with 4 clear steps to consider and helpful scenarios for children of all ages. I use this one all the time!

Parenting a Spirited Preschooler

The advice for this mama, pushed to the edge, is helpful for all parents of all types of children.

5 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by imogenoreilly on October 31, 2011 at 5:38 am

    Thank you so much for sharing my post (alternative mama). There are some great resources here! I’ll be sure to check out the other links asap!


  2. […] be around defining use of space in the form of reminders. “Paint goes on the paper.” See post on discipline resources for helpful suggestions for setting limits in a loving, respectful and effective […]


  3. […] try to keep a little perspective, parent playfully, and use gentle discipline. Lately, though, despite our best efforts, my daughter seemed so fragile emotionally that even her […]


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