a quick tip on threatening and enforcing punishment with your children.
Lots of people have emailed me asking how to get one child to stop hitting their sibling, to stop throwing food, or any other such punishable offense.
I want this email to be short and sweet, so I'll get right to the point. When you need to threaten punishment, make sure that you pick something that is realistic. If your child is throwing food after you've warned him or her to stop then you need to carry out the punishment. You can't carry it out if you made an unrealistic threat.
For example, you can't say to your child, "Johnny - if you do that ONE more time I'm going to cancel our trip to DisneyLand" ... or even worse "You'll have to stay home from DisneyLand all by yourself". Clearly these are not realistic threats, and depending on the age of your child he or she may actually realize this. But regardless, you don't want to put yourself in a position where your child repeats the offense and calls your bluff.
If you make a threat and do not carry it out then your child learns this pattern. They learn that you are not going to follow through. Then you are in bigger trouble.
So - make your threats realistic and then enforce them when you have to.
The last piece of advice I have for you is to be unemotional about punishment. You don't need to scream at your children when you punish them. You simply need to make them aware, in an unemotional way, that their behavior led to a certain outcome (punishment). That is your entire goal.
Customers who have purchased my audio course, "Talking To Toddlers" have also learned how to to introduce a punishment such that the child is much less likely to repeat the offense. We accomplish this by making the punishment feel very vivid and real in the child's mind. We do this in a very caring and compassionate way and it WORKS.