Stuck for acceptable consequences? Try lines…

Posted by Samantha on September 20, 2013 in Anger, Boundaries, Change, Character, Conditioning, Consequences, Discipline, Respect, Responsibility

“I will not burp in class.” Bart Simpson, The Simpsons, episode 3 I recently told the story of how I happened upon a new consequence for ridding my house of pestering: the consequence for persistent pestering would be to write a gratitude list of things-mummy-has-done-for-me-lately. It worked. But this is actually part of a wider […]

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How do you prevent persistent pestering…?

I’ve decided I’ve had it with pestering.  So today I created a plan to deal with being pestered by my children. I hope this will stop me getting worn down by the pestering, and therefore, giving in.  I also hope that it will mostly eliminate it. First, it’s worth mentioning that although most children pester, […]

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Discipline is part of love

Posted by Samantha on December 14, 2012 in Discipline, Expectations

Over the past 50 years psychological research has increasingly confirmed what parents have always known – some children are inherently more “difficult” than others. However, it is not the case that parents of these more spirited children should not expect the children to eventually learn more appropriate behaviour. We make it more difficult for these […]



Now look what you’ve done!!

Posted by Samantha on December 3, 2012 in Boundaries, Discipline, Mistakes, Parenting Dilemmas, Respect, Rules

Last week I had a question from a parent wondering  what to do about a five year old girl who ignored her mother’s requests to stop playing with a snow-globe in the home of someone they were visiting. Fearing a breakage, this Mum upped her requests to a clear (and no doubt reasonable) insistence that […]

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The Naughty Step is traumatising our children

Posted by Samantha on October 20, 2012 in Boundaries, Connection, Consequences, Discipline, Punishment, Time Out

This week the participants on my Update Your Parenting workshop were discussing the use of Time Out and the Naughty Step.  I was reminded once again of how much Supernanny has impacted parents since she first aired in 2004.  Just about everyone attending the workshop was using some version of Time Out. My advice to […]


Using consequences with a little toy-thrower

Posted by Samantha on June 15, 2012 in Anger, Boundaries, Consequences, Discipline, Empathy, Rules

Yesterday I heard a great real life example of how boundaries, backed up with fair and reasonable consequences for violating them, provide a sense of safety for children, which results in improved behaviour. Borrowing an idea that had worked for another parent, this Mom told her young boy – who has developed a habit of […]


When natural consequences are not enough, choose something firmer

Posted by Samantha on June 1, 2012 in Boundaries, Consequences, Discipline, penalties

After I posted my blog on Nia and the judo lesson, I wondered in the aftermath if it would be a good idea to post a follow-up. Then a number of readers asked me a lot of questions and answering those questions has been a real gift. This story has really exemplified how many things feed […]

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Should you punish disrespectful behaviour?

Yesterday, my daughter taught me another great lesson. If we fail to discipline our children for being disrespectful, we are not serving them well. Nia tried Judo for the first time yesterday.  She loved it.  However, afterwards, she was cranky and rude to me.  I told her that hunger and tiredness were no excuse for […]


The struggle for consistency

Posted by Samantha on February 8, 2012 in Being consistent, Consistency, Discipline

It has been shown that consistency is a vitally important part of parenting.  If we are not consistent about following through when our children break the rules of our home or guidelines for their behaviour, then we can expect them to ignore those rules and gradually become manipulative as they attempt to get their own […]

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Handling disrespect and backchat

Posted by Samantha on February 8, 2012 in Consequences, Discipline, Punishment, Respect

In our family it’s been a real challenge to find consequences that we can live with and that at least appear to fulfil the requirement of teaching rather than punishing. In the real world negative behaviour is followed by naturally occurring negative consequences.  In families this often takes the form of: children behave badly, parents get upset, then […]

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