A source for articles, advice, and discussions on father / daughter relationships.
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Disciplining is about teaching your child right from wrong with a definite emphasis on nurturing and guidance but also on consequences. When disciplining a child, you are relating to her, and showing her how misbehavior has consequences. By doing this, you are helping her develop a sense of right and wrong and a sense of justice. You are also helping her to take responsibility for her actions. If done right, discipline is a road map to future behavior of your child, without making her feel bad about herself or you as her parent. A common mistake that fathers make is to not allow daughters to experience undesirable consequences. In the real world, there are negative consequences for inappropriate behavior or actions and children and teens need to understand this. Too often, books written by parenting "experts" overlook or even admonish the importance of experiencing negative consequences.
Punishment and consequences is part of effective discipline. Punishment, sometimes through spanking, relates to consequences that are created to correct misbehavior, which could also include removing privileges, grounding, or withholding allowances. By punishing your child, you are allowing her to experience undesirable consequences for her actions. Lack of boundaries and consequences is one of the major causes of rebellion in children and teenagers.
Punishment isn't about you being in control
and it's not meant to be a battle of wills between you and your daughter. Punishment is not designed to make
her feel weak, incapable, or
controlled. Punishment should be consistent and fair. By not punishing, you are teaching her to ignore
external authority and to look only within herself to determine how
she should act or behave.
Spanking as a punishment can have mixed results although results are not always as bad as what parenting "experts" make them out to be. Quite the contrary. Most parents know that mild spanking can be an effective consequence, especially with young children and young teens, but careful consideration should be made when deciding whether to spank or not. Some girls will grow up never having been spanked and turn out just fine. Others will grow up having been spanked and turn out just as well. There is conclusive proof that mild spanking causes anti-social behavior and most (over 85%) of Americans were spanked during childhood. Contrary to popular belief, most parents use spanking as a form of punishment with their children at some point.
There are a few simple guidelines to follow if you are a parent who believes in spanking:
When deciding whether to spank a teen or not, remember that your teen is fast approaching adulthood, and will appreciate being treated as an adult-in-training, rather than a child. So treat her with respect always, and punish accordingly.
If you do spank, always spank with love!
How to raise your parents --
Sarah O'Leary Burningham had fought with her parents about breaking curfew for the last time. When the 16-year-old walked into her Bellevue home 30 minutes late she didn't yell or pout.
She told her parents she was going to write a book.
Twelve years later, Burningham's "How To Raise Your Parents" is hitting bookstores, an ambitious 144-pager that tackles the Gordian knot that is the relationship between a teenage girl and her parents.
"I realized at that moment my parents didn't know exactly what they were doing," Burningham said, recalling a copy of "Raising an Ethical Teenager" sat on her mother's nightstand that night. Despite the fact that teen-parental relations have stymied families for generations, when Burningham checked bookstores for help she found stacks of books for parents, but nothing for teenage girls.
Burningham's book addresses the void by offering girls detailed strategies on talking to parents about boyfriends, piercings, tattoos, cell phones and curfews. She also translates parentspeak. ("How's school" means "Please just tell me anything about your life. Anything.")
"I didn't want it to be condescending, but I didn't want it to sound like I was a teenager, (instead) almost like a big sister," Burningham, 28, said, explaining the book's sometimes breezy tone.
Though written for teenage girls, the book may be more useful to their parents, because the last thing many teenagers want is to talk to Mom and Dad, says Laura Kastner, a Seattle-based family psychologist and author of "The Launching Years: Strategies for Parenting From Senior Year to College Life."
Teens often aren't interested in talking because their brains are in the middle of a massive remodeling, Kastner says, with the rational side getting overhauled and prepped for adulthood while the emotional side is hyperactive. Those two changes help explain the moody and rude behavior.
"Only by staying calm can you have access to" the rational side of their brains, Kastner added.
The problem is it's easy to snap in the face of a surly teenager. Kastner has a handy acronym for frustrated parents, based on her 30 years of experience treating families: CALM.
C is for calm. A is for analyze. L is for listen. M is for mapping a realistic plan.
"Be really clear, I am not going to respond to the verbal garbage they throw," said Kastner, who is also a clinical associate professor at the University of Washington. "I find parents just go off grid."
Unlike Kastner, Burningham isn't a professor or psychologist. She works for a publishing house in New York City. But she believes both sides can be more rational, dedicating the second chapter to "The Art of Negotiation," which includes a section titled "Keep Your Cool."
Dads may have the biggest challenge when it comes to relating to teenage daughters. Dads are more involved in parenting today, but teenage girls often put them in foreign territory of boyfriends and heartbreak.
"I think that dads are at a loss when their daughters start to become women," Burningham said. Yet fathers are critical because positive dad-daughter relationships have been linked to academic, romantic and career success, as well as healthy body images, Kastner adds.
"You don't have to be like superstar dad. You don't have to bring oranges to the soccer game. You just have to be there. That means a lot to a teenager," Burningham said.
Burningham's dad, for example, started monthly daddy-daughter dates when she was in kindergarten. Sometimes they went to a basketball game, other times to the nearby 7-Eleven for a Slurpee.
The dates highlight the heart of Burningham's book that communication is key and shouldn't start when your daughter turns 16. Burningham's parents started talking to her as soon as she could talk.
"I heard from a lot of teenagers they (parents) didn't have time for them," said Burningham, who interviewed more than 2,000 adolescents and nearly 300 parents for her book. "When they did have time for them they didn't listen to them."
One of the new wrinkles of modern child-rearing is that parents are raising a generation immersed in the tech revolution of Blackberries, cell phones and iPods, which means everyone may be so busy multitasking they forget to talk.
The first thing parents should learn is to send a text message, then learn about instant messaging, social networking and blogging, Burningham suggests.
If you wait until your teenager is 16, and they already have a MySpace profile and all that ... they are not really going to listen to you," she said.
Burningham isn't promising that "How To Raise Your Parents" will bring detente to your home. At its core, her book is a starting point to get teens and their parents talking.
"No one is reading minds here," she said.
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