Liking the Child You Love

How to build a better relationship with your kids—even when they're driving you crazy.

Avoiding Combustible Consequences

CLC: A New Discipline for More Effective Consequences

Well meaning parents often deliver consequences in a heated, emotional manner. This is ineffective discipline. In my new book, Liking the Child You Love, I discuss what I call Collaborative Logical Consequences or CLC.

CLC encourages parents to avoid their own toxic thoughts that can get in the way of any discpiline effort. See the concrete examples below to learn more.

Below are examples of toxic thoughts (TT) that lead to ineffective discipline (ID) contrasted underneath with my more positive and rational approach: Dependable Discipline (DD). You will immediately see the difference.

 

TT: "This child is pathetic. All he does is sleep. He never takes responsibility for anything. He just doesn't care at all about his life or what happens to him."

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ID: "For the second time in two weeks now, you did not get up for school on time and missed the bus. You are grounded this whole weekend!"

DD: "I am not sure what is going on with you oversleeping. I'm getting concerned and would like to discuss it tonight. We will need to look at how you can get to sleep earlier. Let's figure out how to solve this. I have some ideas but I'd like yours too."

 

TT: "Every single time I give this kid an inch he takes a mile. You are showing me that you have no sense of self-control and that I can't trust you to make good judgments."

ID: "It's been two hours and you have not gotten off your videogame. Now you blew it, no more videogames for a week!"

DD: "The videogames seem to be getting in the way of your getting other things done. I need you to lay off the games for the next two days. Let's discuss this and see how we can come up with a better way to handle balancing this in a way that is reasonable."

 

TT: "You are a complete spoiled brat and have no respect for me whatsoever."

ID: "How dare you speak to me that way! Now you're not going to the mall this afternoon."

DD: "I can't accept your talking to me in that manner. I will not take you to the mall because doing that feels like I'm supporting this poor behavior. I am asking you to please sit down with me and help me understand why you have been so angry when we talk."

 

TT: "I can't depend on this kid for anything. He just doesn't ever seem to care about respecting my needs.

ID: "I have had it with you coming in late! Now you're not going to the concert this Friday night."

DD: "Look, we really need to talk. I'm not sure what's going on with you being late for your curfew. I'm really concerned about your safety and I have some second thoughts about you going to the concert on Friday.

What ideas do you have to make this work?" I hope you feel good about the mindset of Dependable Discipline and the examples above. 

 

Jeffrey Bernstein, Ph.D., has authored four books, including 10 Days to a Less Defiant Child.

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