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Don't Punish Your Child

TLC Tip

Don't give empty threats if you want your children to respect your authority. If you threaten to send your kid to bed without dinner, really be prepared to make him go to bed hungry. Following up words with actions is the only way to gain credibility.

During an interview with Style magazine, Jada Pinkett Smith discussed her and hubby Will Smith's philosophy on disciplining their children. She said, "We don't have rules. We come up with agreements." While we're happy the Fresh Prince and his family have found a way to successfully negotiate bedtimes and curfews, most of us (and our children) need a few concrete rules.

No parent wants to be the bad guy, and frankly, punishing your kid is never an enjoyable experience. But children need to understand that actions have consequences, and sometimes negotiations just aren't going to cut it. You never have to resort to corporal punishment, and often talking about an issue may be enough to drive your point home. But, if you want to put an end to bad or dangerous behavior, sometimes you're going to need more than a persuasive argument. Taking away computer privileges or grounding a kid sends a message.

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