Thursday, July 21, 2005

Misbehaving Algorithm

Dean, over at Brettle Development, has actually mapped out an algorithm for use in disciplining his 4-year old daughter. OK, I admit I laughed at first. An algorithm for disciplining your kids? And I thought I was a geek! No offense meant, Dean. ;-) But after reading through his post, he might be on to something.

My wife and I have never put that much thought into how we correct our kids when they misbehave. Oh, sure, we've talked about discipline - using timeouts, being consistent, etc - but in reality discipline is meted out on the spur-of-the-moment basis and, like it or not, there are times when frustration gets the best of us. I'm a pretty laid-back guy, but our kids can be stubborn (I wonder where they learned that?) and sometimes I lose it and yell at them. That does get their attention and usually corrects their behavior, at least in the short-term. But as a corrective and knowledge-imparting action, yelling leaves much to be desired. It's a shortcut and it probably does more harm than good.

Putting pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard?) and sketching out a plan like Dean's might help me to resist the shortcuts and instead focus on teaching the kids what they need to learn in the most effective manner.

I'd be curious to know - how do you handle discipline in your home?

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