When discipline goes too far
We want the best for our kids, but can discipline cause more harm than good?
Naughty child (Shutterstock)
No parent in their right mind wants to discipline their children. If we could all live in a perfect world where kids always behave and parents never have to raise their voices, that would be great!

Unfortunately that is not the case. Unfortunately parents need to set boundaries and children are going to overstep those boundaries again and again.

Of course there's a right way and a wrong way of discipling a child. You need to find what type of discipline works for you and your kids - that's the right way. The wrong way is when that discipline turns bad and goes too far.

When discipline is attempted murder

Recently TwinCities reported that a surgeon from Minnesota was arrested after trying to shove his glove-clad fist down the throat of his 10-year-old foster child. Thankfully his wife walked in on the scene and stopped him. Dennis James Sullivan was charged with second-degree attempted murder, first-degree assault and second-degree assault.

He claims that he was trying to discipline his foster child.

Forcing your fist into the mouth of a child is the perfect example of the type of "discipline" that is never okay.

Thoughts and advice on discipline

We've collected a library of information and personal experiences that other parents have shared about the crazy roller-coaster of learning to discipline while parenting. Take a look:

Is there a right way to discipline?

Discipline in public

How South African parents discipline

Bring back the smack?

Make tough love work

Kids need boundaries, not hidings

10 top discipline tips

Cricket aims to boost self-confidence and discipline

"I will always smack my kids"

Expert advice

Parenting expert Anne Cawood gave this advice when asked what can be done about difficult to discipline kids.

"It is not too late. It is a good idea to sit quietly with your child and spell out that there are rules and limits. If your child chooses to break the rules or push the limits, they must accept that there will be consequences. You are not being hard or nasty. It is just simply that you have rules - which they need to know - and that they have choices.

Your child can abide by the rules and all will be well. But if they choose to break the rules, they will have chosen the agreed-upon consequences.

When parents move towards a positive approach to discipline - and away from old-fashioned ideas of punishment, things usually fall into place. My book "Children Need Boundaries" should help with a positive approach to discipline.

Also, it should not matter if your child admits if they are wrong or not - if they breaks a rule, then that is that. And, blaming others is just a "ploy" to side-track you from the main issue. Don't allow any red-herrings - just stick to the main issue." 

How do you choose to discipline? What works for you? Share with us below.

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