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Word Count: 497
All parents face the question of the best help their child acquire the capacity for self-regulation Previously discipline has seemed to be the only alternative to its polar opposite permissiveness For many years the consensus in this society has been that parents need to respond to childrens failures at self regulation with an array of measures designed to manage unwanted behavior by attaching unpleasant consequences to it including punishment disapproval isolation time-outs forceful language No or withholding of privileges Parents have been told that by setting rigid limits and meting our significant consequences for breaking the rules that they will raised well behaved kids who will stay our of trouble and will not trouble their parents I believe that discipline makes children miserable without offering them any genuine benefit because punishing children whose behavior is out of control actually interferes with their ability to learn self governance I advocate the use of loving regulation a way for parents to guide their children away from missteps without adding to their unhappiness for interfering with their development of inner happiness There is no question that young children need to be protected from their own immature understanding and kept out of harms way For example a young child cannot be permitted to light matches or cross the street alone But through my experiences I have learned that parents are most successful when they regulate their childrens behavior with loving assistance rather than discipline Because you are bigger and stronger than your child you have the power to apply discipline to stop out-of-control behavior but when you do so you teach your children- albeit unknowingly- that your love and warmth are conditional and that you sometimes want to make her unhappy The best way to respond to a childs harmful or dangerous behavior is to stop it without imposing added unpleasantness If you discover that your ten-year-old has been breaking the rules and riding her bike in the
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