The pros and cons of discipline methods for boys

Watch Michael Gurian, MFA, CMHC's video on The pros and cons of discipline methods for boys...
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The pros and cons of discipline methods for boys

Discipline is something that we probably all have thoughts about. I'm going to share some thoughts with you. I am not the expert. You are the expert on your kids. I do have a controversial opinion that I want to share with you that you might find to be common sense. It came up in some clients that I had. They had a six year old boy. The boy was getting in trouble all the time. He was high energy, a good kid just very high energy. He would bop someone, and didn't know what he was doing. The teachers didn't know what to do with him, trouble. When we looked at this boy, we realized that he was very aggressive by nature, not violent, but aggressive and he needed someone to push back. The discipline structure that everyone had set up, was timeouts. You would say, "Okay. You go sit in the timeout chair." Then, you would have all the discipline because he would rebel and not go sit in the chair. I asked the dad, "Were you like this when you were a kid?" He was like, "Oh yeah, I was like this." What his parents did was to hit him very, very hard. I don't suggest that at all. No abuse. But we did realize that if the dad picked this boy up, physically picked him up and put him in the chair. Then what's happening is that this aggressive boy is getting an aggressive gesture back that is safe. It is a safe, aggressive gesture to pick someone up and put them in the chair. "Sit in that chair," in a loud voice. I think we need to take a look at discipline, and see it as much more complex than just a timeout that is supposed to work for everyone, because it probably won't work for everyone. We need to look at all the assets around us; and if you have a very aggressive boy, find someone around him to do a non-abusive aggressive discipline like that, to try to get them to behave. This boy really did behave after that.

Watch Michael Gurian, MFA, CMHC's video on The pros and cons of discipline methods for boys...


Expert Bio

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Michael Gurian, MFA, CMHC

Family Counselor & Author

Michael Gurian is the New York Times bestselling author of 25 books published in 21 languages. He provides counseling services at the Marycliff Center, in Spokane, Washington. The Gurian Institute, which he co-founded, conducts research internationally, launches pilot programs and trains professionals. Michael has been called "the people's philosopher" for his ability to bring together people's ordinary lives and scientific ideas.

 He has pioneered efforts to bring neuro-biology and brain research into homes, schools, corporations, and public policy. A number of his books have sparked national debate, including The Wonder of Girls, The Wonder of Boys, and Boys and Girls Learn Differently!, and The Minds of Boys.

Michael has served as a consultant to families, corporations, therapists, physicians, school districts, community agencies, churches, criminal justice personnel and other professionals, traveling to approximately 20 cities per year to keynote at conferences. His training videos (also available as DVDs) for parents and volunteers are used by Big Brother and Big Sister agencies in the U.S. and Canada.

 As an educator, Michael previously taught at Gonzaga University, Eastern Washington University, and Ankara University.  His speaking engagements include Harvard University, Johns Hopkins University, Stanford University, Macalester College, University of Colorado, University of Missouri-Kansas City, and UCLA. His philosophy reflects the diverse cultures (European, Asian, Middle Eastern and American) in which he has lived, worked and studied.

Michael's work has been featured in various media, including the New York Times, the Washington Post, USA Today, Newsweek, Time, People Magazine, Reader's Digest, the Wall Street Journal, Forbes Magazine, Parenting, Good Housekeeping, Redbook, and on the Today Show, Good Morning America, CNN, PBS and National Public Radio.

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