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December 19, 2011

Managing a Behavior vs. Punishing It

We know that discipline, in its truest sense, means to teach. Yet, too often, we rely on punishment rather than discipline for managing children’s behavior. Sandra Cossner’s perspective on managing behavior is an eye opener:

“Driving down a clear stretch of highway and worried about being late for an appointment, I edged the speedometer up a bit, just a bit. Blocked from view by the pillions of the overpass, a vehicle suddenly appeared in the median strip. I tapped the brakes, holding the pedal down until just in line with the car, which was clearly marked “Highway Patrol.” I could be in trouble. Please, not a ticket! I monitored traffic in my review mirror. No flashers. The patrolman must be having a good day, must be in a forgiving mood. I altered my speed, keeping it well within the legal limit for at least two miles, then, sensing that I had not been caught breaking the rules, I was soon back at it again. Shame on me. How childish.

Yes, how childish. How many times have we seen children exhibit the same panicky behavior when they sense they have been caught breaking a rule? Some adults believe that if we catch children when they break rules and consistently punish them for their misbehavior, they will stop breaking the rules…”


Read Sandra Cossner’s methods of behavior management in the rest of her article at: