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The Secrets to Raising a Smarter Child
- By Inderbir Sandhu, Ph.D



Aug 08, 2003 Issue

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                                      ~ B R A I N Y - Z I N E ~

                           "Learn How to Nurture A Smarter Kid" 

        Volume #1 Issue #20   ISSN: 0219-7642   Aug 08, 2003

                   Andrew Loh, Publisher,

By subscription only! You are receiving this newsletter
because you requested a subscription. 

T A B L E  O F  C O N T E N T S : 

(1) ~ EDITORIAL ~ 
(2) ~ ARTICLES -  Discipline: Myths and Facts ~
(6) ~ CONTACT US - Contact and Subscriber Information ~

E D I T O R I A L - W e l c o m e !

Hi Everyone,

Hope your summer is going well (or winter if you're from Down Under). 
Things are heating up around many countries especially in Europe. 
I hope it's turning into a pretty nice summer soon. Sunny today, but 
when you hole up in the house anyway, it really doesn't matter what 
the weather is like, now does it? Anyway, it's a really busy day, so I'll keep this short so you can get straight to the good stuff.....

Do you have comments, questions, or suggestions about the newsletter ? Feel free to have your say! Just send them to . Have a great week!

Andrew Loh
Publisher/Editor of the BrainyZine
andrew @


~ Discipline: Myths and Facts ~

When you administer discipline effectively in your children's lives, you are helping them learn how to control their behavior according to their ideas of what is right and wrong, not merely due to fear of punishment. Your child chooses to be honest because he thinks it is wrong to cheat, not because he is afraid of getting caught. If you choose physical punishment, it makes the child hate himself and others. It makes him think that there's something wrong with him. If I hit my child, he might
also feel that he has paid for his misbehavior and is free to do it again. 

In other words, harsh punishment teaches my child to deceive me and gives him the idea that violence is an acceptable way to solve problems. Punishment also ruins a child's self-esteem and it doesn't work anymore when the child becomes a teenager. Effective discipline, on the other hand, helps the child learn self-control and builds his self-esteem.

There are many myths about discipline that are spread to new parents by family members, friends and sometimes even their pediatrician. While they are generally not harmful, they can be confusing to a new parent who is trying to learn to do the right thing for their children.

Myth: Children who misbehave are naughty and they are asking to be punished.

Fact: Misbehaving children are "discouraged children" who have mistaken ideas on how to achieve their primary goal - to belong. Their mistaken ideas lead them to misbehavior. When my child screams and throws a tantrum, I will calmly use words of encouragement to help him feel a sense of belonging so the motivation for misbehaving will be reduced and the attention is focused towards good behavior. A wonderful way to help children feel encouraged is to spend time being with them. Many times, I have noticed a positive change in temper and behavior in my son after spending five minutes simply sharing what we like to do for fun.

Myth: Discipline is bad for children.

Fact: Parents should realize that discipline is necessary for children. They are not born with it, which is why parents will have to teach it to them little by little. A toddler's newfound curiosity may subject him to potential safety hazards. When my son was two, I often found myself exerting enormous control on him to keep him safe. But as my child advances in age, he is now more able to access whether there is danger of falling when he is playing on high playground equipment. Discipline is helping children develop self-control. It is setting limits and
correcting misbehavior. Discipline has taught my son how to think for himself and take charge of his behavior. He now knows that if he crosses a street without looking, he could get hit by a car.

Myth: Parents should always use ‘time-out' with children who misbehave.

Fact: Time out loses its effectiveness as children get older. In order to teach my preschool child about self-discipline, we create a place called a Control Spot. Quite similar to a time out, it helps remove my child from a difficult situation, but this time, he gets to decide when to use it and how long it should last. When he seems to lose control, he can choose to go to the Control Spot to take a few minutes of rest or wait till the feeling passes. This helps him to be aware of his emotions and gives him the chance to take charge of the situation.

Myth: Spanking is much easier and it will teach children who is boss

Fact: Yes, spanking may seem easy at that time but think again. Children who are hit will learn the message that it is acceptable to hit others in order to solve a problem. Besides, I am sure most parents notice that spanking doesn't keep their children from misbehaving. Although kids need to know that parents or adults are in charge, spanking can teach them to be terrified of the adult in charge. Positive discipline, however, teaches children to respect the adult in charge. And remember this, respect goes both ways - when I treat my child with respect and let him have some control, he will learn to respect me and listen to me.

Myth: Discipline teaches children that they should not repeat their mistakes.

Fact: Positive discipline teaches children that mistakes are wonderful opportunities to learn. Remember to let them know what they are doing right as well as the mistakes they make. Children need to hear good things to make them feel worthy about themselves. Then help him recognize his mistake and teach him to apologize if necessary. Say things like: ‘ You behaved really well in Sam's house this morning without fighting. But I think you have hurt little Ashley when you took her toy away without her permission.' I always believe that parents should be good role models to their children. When I have made a mistake, I will make an effort to apologize willingly and focus on how to figure out a solution instead of blaming someone for his fault.

Myth: Discipline is more effective when parents are angry and annoyed.

Fact: It is hard to keep your cool especially when kids are testing your patience. Bear in mind, however, losing your temper can also mean losing your ability to instill positive discipline. Effective discipline is administered in a calm and respectful manner. Learn to keep your voice low and your feelings in check. Try not to use any physical force or make sudden threatening movements. These will only create unhealthy fear in your child. When children are rude and rebellious, it is easy for us to become disrespectful and sometimes sarcastic. Our best response
nevertheless is to model the same courtesy, respect and friendly tone we would like our children to learn. A calm and respectful response strengthens our authority as parents and adults. Children who are yelled at, insulted and ridiculed may begin to view the parent as an enemy and harbor feelings of anger and hurt.

Myth: Discipline makes children loathe their parents.

Fact: When you discipline a child, he may get angry but that's not a reason to feel as though you are a bad person. Maintain your calm and as long as your are being fair, it will be alright. When my child is angry, I try to help him channel his anger positively. We would spend some relaxing time playing or drawing or listening to songs. When he is ready, we would talk about his feelings. Allowing children a chance to get their feelings out shows how much you respect them while maintaining your authority. This in the long run will teach him how to talk about feelings without hurting or attacking people.

Remember that discipline is helping children develop self-control. It is how you teach your children to grow to be happy, safe, well-adjusted members of society. Raising children is a tough job, but as children learn to control their own behavior, discipline gets easier and easier. Discipline is also encouraging children, guiding them, helping them feel good about themselves.

This article is contributed by Asian-Family Living, a non-profit organization which produces and netcasts community radio talk-shows on the Internet. For details, visit

_________________________________________________________ B R A I N Y  P R O D U C T

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_________________________________________________________ L A T E S T  B R A I N Y  N E W S

~ Babies' First Months Crucial to Brain Development ~

When does an infant's capacity for learning begin? The answer to the 
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their brains and on what kind of adults they will become. 

See the 'Baby Einstein' products here:
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Development, Understanding, and Creativity for the First Three Years.

N E X T  I S S U E
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