Discipline Dilemmas -- Solved!

Discipline Dilemmas, p.2

Q: My son, who is 3, refuses to allow his father to put him to bed at night. He cries and screams for me. My husband has become really uncomfortable and wants me to put him to bed every night, but I want to rotate so that I can sometimes have an hour to myself. Help!

Dr. Brodlie: The father indeed should not by any means give up the efforts, nor should the parents give in to the child's temper. And the father should continue to try to put the child to bed and the mother should not try to rescue the situation by taking over. The father might examine how he's putting the child to bed and how he can make it a more pleasant event -- reading a story, playing a non-physically active game, and making his presence something the child can look forward to. So the father may need to make more of an effort in that direction.

Q: My 7-year-old son came home with a note from his teacher last week saying that he was caught writing the "F" word and showing it to his friends. We rarely, if ever, curse around the house and so I assume he learned this word from his friends at school. His teacher implied that my son deserved punishment, but I'm afraid that if I make a big deal about it, he'll do it again. What should I do?

Dr. Brodlie: Recognize that even as young as 7, and certainly with increasing age, kids do use bad language amongst each other. And I don't think there should be a punishment. There should be a lesson to the child that there are times when the use of language that they use among their friends is inappropriate in some other settings -- in school or in church or amongst adults. And the child should be told by the parent that if they're using the language inappropriately then they'll be punished. In this situation the child was communicating with another child -- it wasn't aimed at the teacher. So therefore, I don't think the punishment is warranted.

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