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Stop Child Abuse Now: Tips For Disciplining

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RALEIGH — Children are the most precious gift of all, but that does not mean they are always perfect angels.

The Parkers, like most parents, learned quickly they had to adopt some form of discipline for their two sons.

Cynthia Parker knew the strict, corporal punishment approach was not right for her family, but being too lenient was not an option either. The family had to find a middle ground.

"We're starting to remove privileges," she says.

Kenny Shore says he learned the importance of disciplining his three children the hard way.

"Sometimes loving them is drawing the line," he says.

The Shores decided to take a class offered by Project Enlightenment, an early intervention program in Wake County.

Since then, the Shore's have revised their approach. No longer do the kids hear what they cannot do, but what they can.

"It's not about making the child behave. It's about teaching child how to behave," says parent counselor Debbie Jeffress.

Jeffress says mastering discipline is one of the hardest things a parent can do. It is much easier once they learn there is no single approach to every situation.

"You find out that everybody is struggling with this. Everybody is trying," she says.

Parent counselors say being too lenient or too strict can have a direct effect on your child.

Children who have strict parents are sometimes unable to make decisions as adults. On the other side, children of parents that are too lenient often grow up with no respect for rules.

Some tips parents can live by include:
  • Having clear rules in your home. Be consistent about those rules.
  • Give directions positively instead of telling children what they are not supposed to do.
  • Teach children how to express their feelings in an appropriate way.
  • Parents interested in taking a class like the one offered by Project Enlightenment can find information about options at local libraries.

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