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Parenting Questions

What is your opinion on corporal punishment?


Hitting someone is wrong. If you hit your employee, your spouse or your dog you go to jail. Why would hitting a child be any different? There’s no reason for it and it is less effective than other forms of discipline.

The minute you hit a child you have failed as a parent, and a role model. Not only have you failed at parenting your child but you have also failed yourself. You have failed to find a more effective way to teach right from wrong. But there is help out there. There are plenty of great books on the subject of how to raise, confident, moral children the right way. The best books on the subject should be required reading. But they are not. And our children, and our society as a whole, pay a price for this.


If a child is disrespectful at home but polite outside the house, what does it mean for the child's relationship with the parents?


Congratulations! That means you have a child who knows how to behave when necessary. It could be so much worse. Now, all you have to do is to let your child know that it’s in his best interest to behave at home too. Because if he doesn’t, he will lose privileges (like, for instance, having his phone taken away one week for each time he disrespects you). But make sure you'll tell him about the new requirements before you have to implement them. This way, the choice to behave or lose privileges will be his.

And before you start implementing something like this, make sure you're prepared to follow through, or any respect he has for you will completely vanish, making his behavior worse.


Also, make sure you treat your child with respect. That means that you will:

  1. Speak to your child the way you would speak to someone you truly care about.

  2. Respect his time. Give him a heads up before asking him for help etc. (How would you like it if someone comes in and turns off your television just as you were getting to the good part of your favorite movie, for instance?)

  3. Respect his space. Knock before you enter his room, and when you enter, try not to get too worked up over the clothes on the floor, etc. Just walk in, sit down, and talk to him about his day. Save the clean-your-room speech for another time.

  4. Acknowledge him when he enters a room. That means, stop what you’re doing, and look him in the eyes. Make a connection. It takes many tiny connections to create a strong bond. 

  5. Give him a hug. Teens need hugs too (even if they act like they don’t).

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