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Disciplining Your Child? 3 Instances You Should Not Give In
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  • You've heard it said before: parenthood is a balancing act. Don't be too strict, but you shouldn't be too lenient, either. Shield them from pain but let them commit mistakes, too. Connect, but allow them some personal space.

    The truth is no one really knows where that "perfect balance" happens — it's a trial-and-error process each time. Of course, you set boundaries. 

    "When you repeatedly give in to your child's requests and demands, you risk creating a mini tyrant who runs the show," Ruth A. Peters, Ph.D., a child psychologist and the author of Don't Be Afraid To Discipline, tells Parents

    But as we try to find some semblance of "balance," it's important to accept that we can't do it all. We pick our battles. We can let some things slide, but not the following non-negotiables.

    Manners

    When your child decides to behave grumpily while in a social setting (e.g., at a birthday party or a family reunion), refuses to wait for his turn, and does not seem to mind your gentle nudge, it's best not to confront him right there because, as you know, it's likely not going to end well. However, just because you chose to keep quiet doesn't mean backing down. When the time is right and you are out of earshot, explain to your child why being respectful is important. If you let it pass, he's going to think it's okay to act that way when he's not in the mood.

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    Screen time

    Letting your big kids watch TV  or use your mobile phone to keep himself entertained for half an hour seems like a harmless pasttime until it stretches into an hour, or three, or the entire afternoon. 

    By now you know that giving in to pleas of "just a few more minutes" isn't going to do your child any good. Stand your ground and strictly enforce whatever house rules you have regarding screen time. (Click here for celebrity moms' tips on how to manage kids' screen time.)

    Cleaning up their mess

    If you're tired of always being the one to clean up after your child and putting his toys in the bin, you need to be more firm about it. If they don't learn to do it now, it sends your kids the wrong message that someone will pick up after them each time -- which is not the case in real life.

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    Don't sweat the small stuff — but don't cave in, either, especially on issues that matter. The sooner you are able to do that, you will find that it becomes easier to talk and reason with your child as he grows.  

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