HELP FOR PARENTS WITH STRONG-WILLED, OUT-OF-CONTROL CHILDREN AND ADOLESCENTS

Education and Counseling for Individuals Affected by Oppositional Defiant Disorder and ADHD

Punishment or Discipline?

Hi S.,

== > I’ve responded throughout your email below:

Thank-you once again for your guidance Mark. As I read the letters from other parents, it is interesting that so many of the answers go back to the program although with variations. I did not realize until recently that all of these letters are available to read…including the ones that I send! I suggest that you email all of your on-line customers and give them the link to this part of the program at the onset. In my opinion, this would be a good resource and may reduce the amount of questions that you get.

== > Good idea! Thanks.

On that note!

I would appreciate your opinion on whether the following are “punishment” or “discipline” as I find the two are not as well defined as I need.

Scenario One: His car has been taken away indefinitely as he does not have a job to pay for the gas and insurance. We also tied this to his attendance at school. He will be done school this month so thought we should tie it to the job alone. Has not had car for 2 weeks. Punishment or Discipline?

== > Discipline.

We preferably take things away for no more than 7 days. He could earn money for gas by doing chores around the house. Also, try to make the discipline fit the “crime” (i.e., kid’s poor choice). I don’t see a good connection between “school attendance” and “lose of driving privileges” (maybe you have a good rationale though).

Whenever you are undecided about what to do, simply ask yourself “Will this foster the development of self-reliance in my child – or will it inhibit such development?” If it fosters self-reliance, you made a good decision. Thus, does withholding driving privileges foster or inhibit self-reliance? Answer: It inhibits it (other people have to drive him to wherever he needs to go).

Scenario Two: His cell phone was taken away as the bills were double the agreed to cost. We agree to pay for the phone (at the agreed to rate) until he is 18. He needs to do chores to pay us back for bill. Has not had cell phone for 2 weeks. Punishment or Discipline?

== > Discipline.

Punishment is what parents do when they are ‘pissed’ at their kid. Parents punish when they seek revenge (e.g., spank, slap, psychological disapproval, isolation from others, yelling, cussing, threatening, getting angry).

Discipline is the process of teaching a child the difference between acceptable and unacceptable behavior. Good discipline should be a positive force focusing on what a child is allowed to do. The goal of discipline is to help a child change impulsive, random behavior into controlled, purposeful behavior, and discipline should be reinforced with teaching, firmness, and reminders.

Do you think it is reasonable to give him his car to look for jobs and have him earn the gas required to do this?

== > Yes.

I want to ensure the discipline is relative to the crime in these cases as want him to learn from this.

Thanks

== > You are very welcome!

My Out-of-Control Teen

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