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Parenting Quiz: Discipline Dos and Don’ts

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At what age is it OK to spank a child?

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At what age is it OK to spank a child?

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

Spanking may stop your child from doing something bad right now. But it doesn’t teach him how to behave in the long run. And kids who were spanked are more likely to get depressed and have anger problems later on.

 

You can still show you mean business when your child tests your limits. Try giving him a time-out. Or take away a privilege or a valued toy. For a toddler, clap loudly to get his attention. Then firmly say, “No throw!” or, “No bite!”

 

Also, noting when your child behaves well can help keep things in check. Praise him, brag to someone else about him, or just give him extra one-on-one time as a reward.

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What is a good way to be strict?

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What is a good way to be strict?

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

Good discipline means you are clear about what you expect from your child. It also means she understands what happens if she doesn’t follow the rules. Think about your child’s age and how mature she is when you’re setting limits.

 

Be consistent. Once your child knows the rules and what will happen if they’re broken, follow through with the expected results.

 

It’s OK to be strict, but you should let your child negotiate with you once in a while too. It helps build her social skills.

If your child has ADHD, you should:

If your child has ADHD, you should:

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

Kids with ADHD need to know exactly what parents expect of them, and what happens when they don’t do it. Charts are a really useful, visual way to keep tabs on how well a child is doing and to reward good deeds.

 

Most kids worry about saving face around friends. But a child with ADHD is more likely to get defensive and defy you if you shame her. So if your child has ADHD, discipline might work better if you do it in private.

Your toddler hits his brother and grabs a toy. You should separate them, and:

Your toddler hits his brother and grabs a toy. You should separate them, and:

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

First, separate the kids, take the toy, and comfort the hurt child. Stop the hitting and deal with it right away so you don’t reward the child with what he wants. Say, “No hit. Hitting hurts,” so he learns to think of others’ feelings.

 

Frequent hitting or biting might be a sign of other problems -- sadness, anger, seeing violence in person or on TV, or being abused. If it keeps happening, talk to your child’s doctor.

It’s OK to send your child to bed hungry if he doesn’t put away his toys.

It’s OK to send your child to bed hungry if he doesn’t put away his toys.

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

Taking away something your child truly needs, such as a meal, is not fair. Instead, look for something that your little one values and that’s related to what he did wrong. For example, “You can’t play with your toy today because you left it out again."

 

For kids under 6, don’t wait too long to take away something, or they might not get how their actions and the result are linked. So don’t withhold evening TV time if your preschool child was acting out at breakfast.

How long should “time-out” last?

How long should “time-out” last?

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

Most experts say a minute for every year of a child’s age is fair (for example, a 4-year old gets four minutes). Many parents send kids to cool off because it quickly shifts attention from the problem behavior.

 

Pick a boring but safe, non-scary spot, like a chair. When time’s up, chat briefly about why you gave the time-out, then move on. Don’t linger.

 

Time-out works best for ages 2 to 5. But you can still send kids up to age 11 or 12 to cool off if it helps.

Handle misbehavior in public by:

Handle misbehavior in public by:

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

Don’t wait for things to go wrong in public. Talk to your child at home about how she should behave when out. Be fair about what she can handle.

 

If you need to discipline on site, spanking or yelling embarrasses everyone. And it doesn’t work. Try a time-out on a bench at the park. Or take away a privilege: “I guess we’re not going to stop by the pet store today.”

 

If you can’t respond on the spot, tell her you will deal with it at home. Then move on and focus on the present.

You’re angry because your 4-year-old is acting up. You should still discipline her right away.

You’re angry because your 4-year-old is acting up. You should still discipline her right away.

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

Generally it’s good to act as quickly as possible to correct your child. But if you’re angry, pause and clear your head before turning to discipline. Take a deep breath. If possible, step away for a few minutes.

 

Also, think about what’s making you mad. Are you taking the behavior personally? Did something else happen today that upset you? If your anger is not about your child, it can confuse and scare him from talking to you about important things.

When your 5-year-old makes up a story, you should play along with it.

When your 5-year-old makes up a story, you should play along with it.

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

It’s normal for kids around age 4 or 5 to make up stories for fun, so you can usually just go along with it. Kids at this age tend to go back and forth between what’s real and fantasy.

 

But sometimes they might lie to cover for something. If so, discuss the value of being honest.

 

For older kids who know the difference between lying and truth, repeated lying may mean something is upsetting her. Discuss if there’s a better way to respond. Use examples from books and the news to discuss issues with telling the truth.

Your 3-year-old has a meltdown at the store, kicking and screaming. You should not:

Your 3-year-old has a meltdown at the store, kicking and screaming. You should not:

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

Scolding during a temper tantrum doesn’t work. Instead, calmly tell your child you understand his feelings. Give him a chance to be heard by you.

 

If he won’t settle down, go home. If you can’t leave, don’t give in or he’ll think it worked.

 

Try to prevent a tantrum by avoiding triggers. For example, if you know shopping close to naptime is risky, pick another time.

 

Even older kids and teens throw tantrums – they argue, talk back, or storm off. Respond with the same calmness as with a younger child.

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