When parents disagree about discipline tactics

Robert Brooks, PhD Therapist and Author, shares advice for parents when they disagree about discipline tactics and how to overcome these disagreements
Settling Disagreements Between Parents About Discipline Tactics
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When parents disagree about discipline tactics

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One of the most frequent questions I get when I've given a talk about discipline is when parents come up to me and say that they have very different view about what differences should be and what consequences should be. I say, "That's to be expected. We all come from different backgrounds. We all have differences." For the sake of our children, we do have to down and look at our goals. Are their areas of compromise? We want to give kids the same message. One of the problems I often see -- and I warn parents about this -- is please do not discuss your differences about discipline in front of your children. Children are just wonderful in picking up these differences and using them. They'll say, this parent says I can do it and you say I can't. I love when one parent says you can't do something, you go to the other parent who allows them to do it. Sometimes kids will get upset. One time, a parent said that the child had to, also speak to the other parent, but they had to be together. The kid actually said, "You can't think for yourself?" The parent said, "These things are so important, that we want to make sure that we all agree on it." Although the child was upset at first, because that child used to play one parent off of the other, eventually that child settled down. It's much better for the parents to be working together for there to be greater harmony in the house.

Robert Brooks, PhD Therapist and Author, shares advice for parents when they disagree about discipline tactics and how to overcome these disagreements

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Robert Brooks, PhD

Therapist & Author

Dr. Robert Brooks is a psychologist on the faculty of Harvard Medical School.  He has lectured nationally and internationally and written extensively about the themes of resilience, parenting, family relationships, school climate, and balancing our personal and professional lives. He is the author or co-author of 15 books and has also appeared in several videos pertaining to helping children to become more responsible, self-disciplined, hopeful, and resilient.

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