Parenting: Discipline and Limit Setting

Newborn to 2 Years Old: What Doesn't Work

  • Hitting a child's hand or spanking him. Although some parents believe strongly in this approach, it is important to understand the problems involved. These actions teach children that when you are angry it is OK to hurt someone and children naturally mirror their parents' behavior. When a parent disciplines by hitting, it gives children the message that aggression is part of a loving relationship. This behavior also raises doubts in the child's mind about whether he is loved or valued.
  • Taking things away. It is very painful to children when you take away a possession. It often makes them feel so angry that they behave worse. It is advisable to resort to this tactic only if your child is hurting someone with the object. Otherwise, try to offer her something else to play with instead.
  • Yelling. Kids are frightened by yelling. It makes them feel very powerless. They also learn to yell back in return.