Empathy Is Essential To Effective Discipline
The American Academy of Pediatrics says that hitting and shaming as disciplinary tools can be harmful to children and lead to life-long consequences. What disciplinary methods should be used instead to teach kids what's right and wrong?
Instead of effectively teaching lessons on responsibility or self-control, actions like yelling and other forms of corporal punishment can increase aggression in children. This includes nonphysical punishment that is humiliating, scary or threatening.
There are also potential ramifications to repeated exposure to harsh punishment, including lower social cognition and performance I.Q.
Which methods are most effective when disciplining a child? How does tradition and culture factor in? Is positive reinforcement alone sufficient motivation for kids to behave?
- Benjamin Siegel, MD, coauthor of the latest American Academy of Pediatrics policy statement on “Effective Discipline to Raise a Healthy Child”; practicing pediatrician at the Boston Medical Center and professor of pediatrics and psychiatry at the Boston University School of Medicine
- Soad Michelsen, MD, senior medical director for the Clarity Child Guidance Center
- Juan Vidal, author of the Code Switch article "La Chancla: Flip Flops As A Tool of Discipline" and the book "Rap Dad: A Story of Family and the Subculture That Shaped a Generation"
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This interview aired on December 13, 2018.