D ear Doctor K: I have two children in elementary school. When they were younger, I disciplined them with timeouts. How should discipline change as they get older?
In answering questions about kids, I rely a lot on the advice of pediatrician colleagues here at Harvard Medical School. They describe a variety of ways to discipline a school-aged child:
When setting limits, it’s important always to be consistent. Rules must stay the same from one day to the next.
Whenever you are disciplining your child, enforce the rules without expressing anger. When kids see that a parent is angry, they worry that the limitation imposed by discipline is just the first step. Specifically, they worry that their parents may hurt them.
Make sure that you regularly recognize wanted behaviors. When you see your child doing something that you like, give him a hug, a smile and some praise. If you accentuate the positive, you may not eliminate the negative – but you'll probably reduce it.
1130 Walnut, Kansas City, MO 64106; 816-581-7500