Q: My 21-month-old has started hitting. Whenever he hits his 4-year-old sister, I put him in his crib until he calms down. Recently, however, his sister has started hitting back. I dont want her thinking that I go easier on him when it comes to discipline. How do I implement fair and effective punishment for the same offense for children of different ages?
I sense that youre over-thinking this situation. No matter how you discipline the two children when they get physical with one another, your daughter is going to feel that her punishment is unfair. In fact, no matter the offense, if the child in question doesnt think the punishment is unfair, then its probably ineffective. Thats not fair! should be music to a parents ears.
Even though your son starts it, you should punish both of them. If you dont, your daughter is likely to begin provoking her brother to hit her. Siblings are renowned for that sort of thing. When you put your son in his crib, sit your daughter in a chair in a fairly boring area of the house. When you let your son out of the crib, let your daughter out of the chair. Does that sound fair enough?
Q: I have 32 years of teaching experience, mostly in second grade. All of us veterans have noticed that classroom discipline problems have been getting worse with every new year. At our school we have lots of problems with open defiance, disrespect and constant interruptions. The most recent administration, however, considers any sort of punishment inappropriate, even having a child sit out recess. Whats a teacher to do?
The reason classroom behavior has been going downhill for at least 30 years is growing numbers of parents who dont adequately discipline in the home. These same parents dont support discipline from their kids teachers and even become defensive when anyone suggests that their kids fall short of perfect.
From the point of view of principals and other administrators, the parents in question are impossible to deal with. The standard administrative response, therefore, is to avoid confrontations with them, no matter the cost to teachers. Thats why so many teachers complain to me that their administrators (and even school boards) dont support their efforts to discipline, that they even go to great lengths to pacify protesting parents.
One way to avoid such confrontations is to prohibit punishment of any sort. This may seem enlightened, but the best research indicates that appropriate punishment is associated with not just better behavior, but better overall adjustment as well. If it is just to reward excellence, then it is also just to punish misbehavior.
A disciplinary vacuum is quickly filled by discipline problems. Under these very trying circumstances, many good teachers are leaving the profession early. After all, they didnt sign on to be abused.
Unfortunately, I have no pat answer to this growing problem. My advice to teachers is fairly pragmatic: Choose your battles carefully. My advice to parents: Wake up! My advice to administrators: Find your backbones.
Read more here: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2012/07/23/3400326/john-rosemond-fair-punishment.html#storylink=cpy