Dear parent who is asking about the latest and greatest disciplinary techniques:

Discpline (which really means “teaching”) isn’t about techniques, IMO. Techniques tend to be about finding ways to make your child do what you want and not do what she wants. Disciplinary techniques tend to put behaviour ahead of relationship, correction ahead of understanding, authority ahead of empathy.

True discipline is helping your child internalize the desire to behave compassionately, respectfully, empathetically, responsibly and in accordance with social customs so that she wants to behave well and has the tools she needs to do so. As I see it this desire to behave well is built upon a strong respectful relationship with parents who walk the talk. In other words parents who behave with compassion, empathy, responsibility and respect, who treat the child with the understanding and grace that should be accorded any fellow human being, young or old.

No techniques required.


5 thoughts on “Techniques

  • March 10, 2009 at 11:28 am

    So right! What feels natural for me is hard to explain to others. I think attachment is a huge issue and many people dont want to hear that.

  • March 10, 2009 at 3:41 pm



  • March 11, 2009 at 7:48 am

    I *really* needed this reminder today. Really. Thank you.

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