Apparently, I was getting tired of note-taking by this point. Or it’s just that I’ve heard a lot of Dr. Ray’s talks. Whichever, I have very, very brief notes for this one.
Demand respect. Reserve your heaviest consequences for disrespect; it is the foundation of relationships and the most likely problem to harm your child’s future.
Your child’s reaction to the discipline shows what they think of the discipliner. (Uh-oh…)
Myth: “You can make them cooperate, but you aren’t teaching them.” Dr. Ray said this is a psych professionals’ fad. The current idea is that time-out is just a “time out from positives,” except that any kid will tell you that time out is a punishment and, at best, boring as heck. Dr. Ray pointed out that God runs the world with consequences. We would be wise to learn from that. (My kids’ favorite whine, “But I don’t want the consequences!” Well, then don’t do the action! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve repeated that one…)
And, finally, strict discipline yields less discipline. It seems counterintuitive, but only at first. If your discipline is firm and prompt, you will have to do less. If you just sort of whine, “Ok, honey, can we pick up our toys now? Please?” you will be doing a lot more work to discipline… and you’re going to be a lot more frustrated, because the kids will learn that you don’t really mean it until you’ve said it fifteen times.
I’ve watched my own kids’ behavior nosedive when they know the relative in charge isn’t going to actually enforce discipline like Mom and Dad; it’s ugly. I’m not saying they’re angels for me 24/7, but they’re significantly better for me, because, darn it, I listen to Dr. Ray. (He is wonderful for those days when your neighbors, acquaintances, relatives, and strangers at the mall are nagging you for being too strict. It’s nice to know someone’s on your side in the goal to raise great kids, not just barely tolerable ones.)
For more Dr. Ray, check his website.