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WebMD Expert Discussion: Too Strict? Or Not Strict Enough?

If you’re like many parents, you second-guess yourself a lot. Were you too harsh on the kids after they continued throwing the ball in the house after several warnings? Or should you have taken the ball away after the first warning? As a parent, do you wonder if you have too many rules? Or not enough?

WebMD guest parenting expert Tanya Altmann, MD, FAAP, says that most parents worry about whether they’re being too strict or not strict enough. She suggests that there is a middle ground to encourage good behavior in children.

According to Altmann, three things are necessary for kids to feel safe and secure, learn respect, and to encourage them to try their best:

  • Rules and boundaries
  • Consistency
  • Consequences

She suggests involving your child in the rulemaking process. If he brings home a bad grade, rather than immediately getting angry, ask what he thinks should happen. Less TV time? Less computer time? More time studying? Or maybe you can work together on a new approach to studying.

No matter what approach you take to discipline, Altmann says the most important thing any parent can do is to remind your child daily that you love them.

As a parent, are you strict, middle-of-the-road, or do you try to be your kids' best friend? Tell others in the WebMD Parenting Community what works and doesn’t work for you and your family.

Discussion led by Tanya Altmann, MD Guest Expert
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Guest Expert What is a guest expert?

Tanya Altmann, MD, FAAP, is a best-selling author, a working mother, and a UCLA-trained pediatrician, practicing in Southern California.

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