Disciplining

I’ve been reading the motherhood forums and someone raised a question about how to discipline her two year old in her ‘terrible twos’. She was saying that she tried everything from timeout (facing the wall, sitting in a corner, locked in a room with her) to spanking. Then she made this comment that it was no use and he just cried for a whole hour. Wait, what? One whole hour? Did she mean that she punished him for a whole hour? And after receiving advice from the forumers to try timeouts, she said she’ll try these methods again, except increase the time. Increase the timing?!? I was completely aghast. One whole hour of crying is not enough? The poor boy…

Coincidentally, I was reading about how parents tend to view discipline as punishment when the word discipline actually means to teach. The western concept of discipline generally focuses on positive reinforcement but the asian way was traditionally by spanking. I think there’s definitely a time and place for both. Positive reinforcement takes quite long to really work, if baby Calvin was doing something dangerous like putting his fingers into electric sockets, I’d definitely scold him and give him a light slap on the hand to quickly keep him away from it. Other than that, I do believe that positive reinforcement is the way to go. I was reading an article that says that parents tend to ignore the child and do their own things when they are being good and playing quietly. So it ends up that children learn that when they are good, they get no attention, and when they are naughty they get lots of attention. I wonder if my Calvin will grow up to be a difficult child. I certainly hope that by then I would have picked up enough parenting knowledge to handle him well. We’ll see when the time comes =)

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