Tough love is the best way to handle disruptive and/or destructive behaviour and following through is the key to instilling the message. Know the difference between natural and logical consequence and teach your child in it.

  • A natural consequence is when a child is playing with matches and accidentally burns their finger. A child learns quickly from this one.
  • A logical consequence is when punishment is decided by you, is immediate, and is recognized by the child as stemming from their mischievous behaviour.

What a logical consequence is and is not.

  • A logical consequence is: immediately removing a favourite toy from the room or having them sit in a corner. Have the child say in their own words what they did wrong.
  • A logical consequence is not: restricting them from a TV show that will be on later that evening or waiting until the other parent gets home to exact discipline. Children have no concept of time, so that will be fruitless, confusing, and promote parental meanies.

If you have to go through a tantrum stage, resolve to do it now, it only gets worse and harder. If you cannot handle your children, get someone in who can teach you before emergencies happen.

Children love creating shock value so ignoring unwanted activity works sometimes, too.


This is a hard one because like me, most people do not want to hit their children, but under extreme circumstances it may escalate to that, so it's best to be prepared on how to handle a surprise situation. A spank should be a last resort and followed with a hug and reinforcement of love for the child.

  • A spank warning might come after 3 requests to cease an activity (i.e., breaking things, playing with matches in their room) with the spank warning added to the last request. Children don't keep track of how many times they have been warned, so the number of requests won't matter to them, only to you in trying to put it off.
  • Always follow through. If you say that you are going to give a spank, you must give it, otherwise your words will never be heeded.
  • If you find yourself never giving one after you have threatened one, find something that you will follow through on that is a logical consequence that the child will relate to as punishment for the bad behaviour.
  • If a spank is forthcoming, explain that it is not because you want to inflict pain, it is the consequence you warned them about the last of the 3 times you asked them not to do something. Spank on their bottom and allow them to put books and clothing into their pants if they want as it not about pain, it is about getting their attention and the sight of a paddle will do that for most kids without the spank. One spank should be all you do if it comes to that.
  • The bit of cry that may come with a spank is a far one from the agony of lives lost in a house fire.

See the entire page on Parenting at http://www.dedan.com/Parenting.htm

Author's Bio: 

A single parent of one son with a deadbeat dad since 1981. My son and I had a unique relationship in that he treated me more like an older sister than a mother, which allowed us to be friends, but made discipline hard. We've gone through ADHD, father neglect, family interference and jealousies and of course the raging hormones of the teen-age years. He is one of those miracles where I had planned to never have children and got pregnant with protection, but didn't find out until I was 19 weeks along and I had just split up with his father two weeks prior and moved back to my own town. I have almost lost him a few times through a neglectful babysitter when he was three where he was about to be picked up on walking along the highway and a near abduction when he was four while playing in the park.

I still remember the first time I ever felt real love in my life and it was just a few months after he was born, so he truly taught me that.