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Discipline 123

by Ronald A. Rowe | December 31st, 2009 | Helpful Hints, Preschool

When our first son was venturing into the testing boundaries phase, I came up with what I thought was a simple and elegant disciplinary method.  If I told him to do something and he didn’t respond immediately, I began to count to three.  The theory was that if I got to three and he had yet to comply, he would be spanked.  I spanked him exactly twice, and the lesson was learned.  From that day on the count never passed two.  He is now a very compliant and obedient young man.

Sometime between then and the birth of our second child, I took a parenting course at our church.  The man on the DVD mentioned the 1-2-3 method of discipline, stating that was specifically bad parenting because it taught the child that he did not have to obey immediately.   Seeing as the man on the DVD had his own DVD class on parenting and I did not, I stopped using the 1-2-3 with our first born (he was pretty well past that stage by then) and did not start it with our second.

When our second child was about three, it occurred to me that he was less obedient and more strong willed than the first.  Every day was a struggle to get him to do as he was told.  One day, I realized that what we were doing was not as effective as my old 1-2-3.  I explained the new rule, and after a single spanking he learned his lesson.  I very rarely even get to two.  “Go brush your teeth… One…” and he’s on his way.

The point isn’t that this particular method of discipline is best and you should all follow my example.  The point is that you know what works for your family, and you shouldn’t let the “experts” make you doubt yourself.    That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be open to hearing what works for other people in areas where we are struggling.  Good advice from people who have been there before can be very helpful – when you need help.  But if what you’re doing is working, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

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