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Discipline: A challenge to fathers’ parenting skills

Author John Thompson
Submitted 19-02-2009

Stories questioning the best way to discipline children never completely drop out of the news.

For example, reports about fed-up parents using Nebraska’s safe-haven law to drop off unruly teenagers incited a debate about how to provide families with the parenting advice and disciplinary tools they need.

And when President Barack Obama revealed that his daughters will be required to make their own beds and clean their own rooms at the White House, it was difficult not to wonder how he would react if Sasha or Malia decided to rebel. Does the new president use the naughty step?

In many families, fathers are the ones expected to dole out punishment when the need arises. However, mastering the art of discipline can challenge even the savviest dad’s parenting skills.

Several parenting advice experts stress the need for consistency. In other words, your children need to know what to expect when they misbehave or they may begin acting up to test the limits.

Similarly, one of the biggest mistakes a father can make when disciplining his child is to not follow through on a threat. It is incredible how quickly children learn to disregard words if they are not supported by actions.

Another important point emphasized by child psychologists is to try to refrain from rewarding bad behavior. Every time you buy your child a piece of candy to get them to stop crying, you are effectively demonstrating that acting up will earn them a reward.

Although it may require you to muster up all of your parenting skills and patience, experts also recommend staying calm while correcting your children’s behavior. Shouting or losing your temper may just end up encouraging kids to yell back and respond to conflict with anger.

Finally, some of the best parenting advice may be to maintain realistic expectations for children. For example, it may be very difficult for a toddler to sit still for an hour, so demanding that they do so is almost like setting them up to fail.

Remember: your children are not perfect – and neither are you.ADNFCR-1662-ID-19033528-ADNFCR