I have 4 kids. Each one is completely different. Discipline has to be individualized. My oldest was a defiant headstrong turd from about 1 year old to
about 3. I tried every approach and read every book. I had already had developmental psychology in college a few years before, so I knew that at that
early stage a child in trust v. mistrust has to have a lot of love, reassurance, and a feeling of security. He got lots of it, but was determined to
do it all his way.
Then I read a book by Dr. Dobson "Raising a strong willed child." He posits that with strong willed children especially boys, you have to earn the
right to be the boss. So at times that means a show of force. It's just like women not being attracted to weak, pasty men. Some children have no
confidence and feel no security in a weak parent. I started giving him 1 warning, after that a pop on the diaper, and a time out. It took about 3
months of all out war. He is 13 now and I can count on 1 hand the number of times he has been in trouble since. He is at a later stage of development
now and has good reasoning skills so corporal punishment is no longer needed or used. His 3 siblings have never needed corporal punishment and it has
never been used with them.
As far as negative reinforcement being useless; that's bollocks
nature gave us more pain receptors than any other kind. Positive reinforcement
should be the mainstay, but to conclude negative reinforcement as useless, or ineffective is just not true. If that we're the case we would all be
dead from unavoided trauma because we never avoided injury because there was no immediate bad consequence for touching the stove or cutting a finger.
I believe in natural and logical consequences. If your behavior is maladaptive, you're gonna have a bad time. Parents should instill that lesson
with mild consequences like a smack on the behind, before it's a real life consequence like 30yrs behind bars or a big pissed of guy with a
crowbar.coddling kids is as much a disservice to them as abuse, and should be considered abuse. I love my kids too much, and they are too smart, and
have too much potential to let them face life unprepared or with a false sense of entitlement.
My kids love to strive to achieve. Not to please me they know dad's love is not contingent on anything. It is because they already know life is a
challenge, and good things come to the prepared. So if spanking is all that works to get their attention and pull them out of the turd phase, so be
it. Better than watching him get strapped into old sparky for continuing to think his actions have no consequences. If reasoning works that is much
preferable, but sometimes you have to get their attention, and make them respect you enough to listen. You can't reason when they don't listen, and
you haven't earned respect. Earned through much love, and a bit of fear.
Why fear? Because that 3 year old is looking for a protector and provider first, and if he figured he has you whooped, how much confidence do you
think he has you can protect him from something bigger, and badder than he is? Strong willed kids are born thinking they're pretty hot stuff. That
isn't bad, but it has to have direction. My oldest is still strong willed, stubborn even, but he is also smart, kind, and compassionate. Protective
of his sibling to a fault, and an anti-bully He uses his inner strength to build the weak, he's not selfish and overbearing. Had I coddled him, and
gave him his way, which at the time he considered a stalemate winning, and timeout alone was a stalemate to him. He would have never listened enough
to get to the point where reasoning worked.