Effective punishments for kids

Chris Fulton, PhD Clinical Psychologist, shares advice for parents on some of the most effective ways of doing punishments and disciplining their children
Parenting Tips | Effective Punishments And Discipline For Kids
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Effective punishments for kids

You know, I think in addition to rewards, you do have to have some type of punishment. Not all psychologists believe in it, but I think that you can have a balance. Again, it’s in the delivery. But there’s a couple ways of doing punishments. There is the active kind of punishment where you make your child do something – it’s, you know, like an extra chore or to right standards – that’s an active punishment. There is the kind of passive type of punishment – and the passive punishment is when you take something away – you take away a privilege, you take away a play date, or you take away toys. A good rule of thumb, by the way, for that type of punishment, is to take away everything for a short period versus one thing for a long period. You know, kids these days, they’ve got so many things in their room it looks like Circuit City made a stop in the room. So if you take away their iTouch, they’re like, “Okay, take that. And you can take my iPod, because I’ve got my computer over here.” So, it’s better to take everything away. My favorite is actually negative reinforcement, because punishment is always afterwards – you did something bad, then you get punished. But a negative reinforcement actually happens beforehand. You say, “Hey, I’m taking away everything, you can’t go do anything fun until you complete what I want you to do.” So you’re trying to increase a behavior and it’s not reactive, so that’s my favorite.

Chris Fulton, PhD Clinical Psychologist, shares advice for parents on some of the most effective ways of doing punishments and disciplining their children


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Chris Fulton, PhD

Clinical Psychologist

Dr. Christopher Fulton is a licensed clinical psychologist and has been in private practice for over ten years. He received his doctorate in 1994 from the California School of Professional Psychology, Los Angeles. Dr. Fulton has clinical training and experience in a variety of settings, and also has administrative, teaching, supervision, consulting, research and psychological testing experience. Dr. Fulton provides consultation and ongoing therapy for children, adolescents and adults. He conducts group, individual, couples and family therapy and actively works with a variety of childhood disorders, including: adjustment disorder, ADHD, anxiety, depression, oppositional defiant and other emotional-behavioral disorders. Among his most frequent areas of concentration is divorce, for which Dr. Fulton offers therapy for all involved.

Utilizing research-supported methods in treatment, Dr. Fulton's approach to therapy involves a combination of cognitive-behavioral, family systems and interpersonal interventions. In his work with children, Dr. Fulton involves parents and assists them in developing appropriate responses to their children, since he believes that ultimately the parent will make the most significant impact on the child. Dr. Fulton helps parents establish appropriate boundaries, communication and methods of discipline in order to increase positive relationships with their children.

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