Parents have been desperate to control their children for generations. That impulse has historically mixed results and has led to strange traditions of child discipline. Sometimes we’re given hand-me-down myths and never truly know the story behind them. After consulting resources, Fatherly narrows down for you four myths about child discipline in a listicle video.
Number one: Strict parents raise well-behaved children. There’s a popular idea that the only way to raise a good kid is by being a total hard-ass. But that doesn’t encourage kids to develop empathy. Even a former Marine drill instructor understands that making demands of little kids is unproductive. According to Sergeant Chris Lopez, who is a master of discipline in any light, explanation and redirection present the best way forward.
Number two: Saying yes equals failing. There are times when saying yes is a completely reasonable strategy to avoid unnecessary conflicts. A parent’s main concern should be their child’s health and safety. Parents can say yes, but they should make sure the yes is connected to a condition. So the agreement becomes a “Yes, when…” or “Yes, if….” The conditions just need to be somewhat related to the request with a brief explanation as to why the conditions are required.
Number three: Shouting gets a kid’s attention. It turns out, the best way to disrupt a child’s behavior is by getting close and getting quiet. But parenting experts say calm needs to be coupled with quiet. Anger and frustration will only serve to create a feedback loop of emotion.
Number four: Don’t negotiate with children. Parents should use the age-old hostage-negotiator tactic of using empathy to build a connection to their kid in the moment.