Archive for the 'discipline' Category

nyc dads and positive discipline

Tuesday, May 11th, 2010

Recently I was very lucky to sit down with a group of NYC fathers and their little ones to discuss positive discipline at appleseeds in Chelsea. NYC dads is a Meetup group that has been expanding wildly and is now 200+ families strong, and growing!  We talked about the difficulties surrounding discipline and knowing the “right” way to handle each and every situation (think playground politics).  Being a parent awakens many thoughts/feelings/memories from our own childhoods that often need to be worked through.  If we aren’t prepared for this, the who journey can feel overwhelming and needlessly difficult. It was such a joy to be able to talk with a group of fathers who were interested in being proactive with their kids and being the best teachers possible. Oh, and their tots were too cute for school! Thanks NYC Dads!!

spanking doesn’t work!

Tuesday, October 21st, 2008

Parents must know that while spanking may work in the very near term to stop a child from misbehaving, it ultimately backfires.  For starters, spanking teaches your child that the bigger, stronger person in a disagreement always wins.  And that in order to make your point, you must strike another person.  The irony is that children are often spanked for hitting or kicking another child.

An article by Lisa Belkin in this morning’s New York Times Magazine Blog, “When Is Spanking Chid Abuse?” shares the findings of Alan E, Kazdin research.  Mr. Kazdin is the Director of the Parenting Center and Child Conduct Clinic at Yale and reports that 63 percent of parents physically discipline their 1-to 2-year-olds.  I find this statistic staggering and alarming.  In a piece Mr Kazdin wrote for Slate, he says there’s “a strong natural tendency to escalate the frequency and severity of punishment.”  Here is the part of what he says that I wish every parent would understand.

“The negative effects on children include increased aggression and noncompliance—the very misbehaviors that most often inspire parents to hit in the first place—as well as poor academic achievement, poor quality of parent-child relationships, and increased risk of a mental-health problem (depression or anxiety, for instance). High levels of corporal punishment are also associated with problems that crop up later in life, including diminished ability to control one’s impulses and poor physical-health outcomes (cancer, heart disease, chronic respiratory disease). Plus, there’s the effect of increasing parents’ aggression, and don’t forget the consistent finding that physical punishment is a weak strategy for permanently changing behavior.”

I have to believe that if parents really knew what was at risk with corporal punishment, they would work harder to seek an effective solution.  Stay posted for a seminar on this very topic.


Wednesday, April 23rd, 2008

Jo Frost will be in NYC soon at a Babies R’Us Store near you.  She is the star of ABC’s hit show “Supernanny” and author of Confident Baby Care.

Friday May 9th at 1 pm in Union Square Babies R’ Us

Saturday May 10th at 12:30 in Westbury Babies R’ Us

Saturday May 10th at 4 pm in Staten Island Babies R’ Us Store

parents and children: a good fit?

Saturday, March 1st, 2008

There is a nice piece on the NYU Child Study Center’s website about the goodness of fit between a parent’s style of parenting and the temperament of a child, titled: Parenting Styles/Children’s Temperament: The Match. It is this very fit (or lack thereof) that shapes the overall relationship between child and parent. It is important for parents to adapt as best they can to their individual children based on their temperaments and make the fit as good as possible. See below for brief examples of the different parenting styles and temperaments.

Parenting Styles:

  • Strict parent: You come back right this minute and give that ball back to Luisa immediately.
  • Moderate parent: The ball belongs to Luisa. I know you want to play with it, but why don’t you talk it over with her and try and work out a system to take turns?
  • Permissive parent, believing that Annie should be allowed to express her impulses freely, doesn’t suggest a solution and does not use the opportunity to help her solve a problem.

Children’s Temperaments:

  • Easy children are calm, happy, adaptable, regular in sleeping and eating habits, positive in mood and interested in new experiences.
  • Difficult children are often fussy, irregular in feeding and sleeping habits, low in adaptability, fearful of new people and situations, easily upset, high strung, and intense in their reactions.
  • Slow to warm up children are relatively inactive, reflective, tend to withdraw or to react negatively to novelty, but their reactions gradually become more positive with experience.

discipline and self-control

Tuesday, February 19th, 2008

After parents tackle the issue of sleep deprivation with their infant, we often hear from parents about feeding.  Next comes discipline.  I received an article today from the NYU Child Study Center titled, “About Discipline – Helping Children Develop Self-Control” that I think succinctly and accurately outlines the goals of discipline and the different approaches depending on the age of your child and the issue at hand.