For the April issue of Today's Parent magazine, readers were asked to submit ideas for topics they'd like to see covered, and for the "Big Kid" page, one parent wondered about the best ways to adapt discipline strategies as their little kids get bigger, and the "time-outs" aren't so effective anymore.
I was happy to tackle the question, and with expert input from psychotherapist Alyson Schafer, as well as a couple of parents currently in the "big kid" trenches, I put together this article for the magazine:
And because you know I love to show my byline in print:
Alyson's tips are terrific, though sometimes I want to go completely against her advice and embrace the tough-love Dr. Phil philosophy: figure out what the kids love and use it as leverage, whether the punishment fits the crime or not.
One Twitter reply to this article mentioned that it's missing a discussion of consequences for more serious infractions, and I totally agree. Word count is always my biggest challenge, and this piece only had room for dealing with day-to-day issues and the general evolution of discipline as the kids grow.
As always, I want to thank my sources (Alyson, Sally and "Jessica" - you know who you are!), and I'd love to know what you all think!