Discipline- The Last Resort

I seem to go round telling my kids to ‘behave’ and expect them to actually listen to me. Some chance-time to listen to Dr Spock instead!

Spock sees punishment as a last resort:

When your system of firmness breaks down

It’s not a method of discipline in itself.

So I guess that means no more Time Outs when I’ve reached the end of my tether. From now on I’ll be doing it the Spock way.

Punishment needs to be:

  • Fair
  • Teach the child something
  • Doesn’t make the child cross

Here’s what happened yesterday afternoon

Ben came home from school with one goal- to wind up Harry as much as possible. 

At tea time he spilled Harry’s juice all over the table and used his teddy bear to mop it up. Then while Harry was crying, he wrote his own name inside the Valentines card Harry had brought home from Nursery.

My system of firmness had broken down- time to punish.

I sent Ben up to the bathroom to wash Harry’s bear and while he was cleaning it I gave Harry Ben’s favourite toy to cuddle.

Aim: To teach Ben actions have consequences.

Result: Ben had a lovely time bathing Harry’s teddy and when I went upstairs to find him, he was drying it with my hairdryer:

This is my barbers’ shop, let’s clean my Sooty when I’ve finished– he said.

For the rest of the afternoon he and Harry were busy barbers cleaning anything furry they could find- luckily they forgot the dog asleep in her basket!

Happy Valentines!


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