Discipline for Softies

Q. How about logical consequences -- if a child scribbles on the wall, she has to clean it up?

A. Making these connections for kids seems to make sense, but it's still a punishment that won't change behavior. The time to teach good behavior isn't when you're mad about the scribbling on the wall. That's like teaching someone who's drowning how to swim. Instead, give her a time-out to stop the behavior from continuing at that instance and explain why she was out of line ("You're going into a time-out because writing on the wall isn't a nice way to treat your home and your family"). Later on, or in the days that follow, you can practice drawing pictures on paper with your child and compliment her ("You used your markers like a big girl and made such a beautiful picture on this piece of paper. Think you can make another for your sister?").

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