Here’s some great advice on keeping it together with your grandchildren. Don’t…


  1.  YELL, your screaming has zero effect on behavior (other than to teach a child that its okay for them to lose it too).
  2. OFFER EMPTY THREATS, if a child knows you won’t follow through, he/she won’t take you seriously.
  3. UNDERMIND YOUR PARTNER, openly disagreeing about discipline will confuse a kid and erode your authority.
  4. FAIL TO SET RULES, it’s not fair to punish a child for playing ball in the house if you didn’t tell him it was forbidden beforehand.
  5. BRIBE, Yeah…it works the first time. But eventually children will expect a reward every single time you request their cooperation.
  6. ARGUE ABOUT CONSEQUENCES, your discipline methods are not up for discussion, or negotiation. Period, the end.
  7. COMPARE, when you say, “why can’t you be more like your sister?” the implication is that the child isn’t fine the way he/she is.
  8. SPANK, research shows that striking a child makes him more aggressive, not better behaved.
  9. CAVE IN TO THE WHINING, standing firm now will make it less likely you’ll hear that annoying voice the next time he/she wants something.
  10. SET A BAD EXAMPLE; need to scold a child for fibbing? Fine. But then don’t let him catch you canceling plans due to your own phantom illness.


*Article reprinted from: PARENTS MAGAZINE, April 2013, page 110.