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By Dr. Peter Nieman
I see a lot of tired parents in my office every day. Sometimes they’re tired after long nights of looking after sick children, and sometimes they’re tired of fighting wars. Their children may be healthy as horses, but the constant fight to get them to obey wears even the most patient parent down over time.
As a pediatrician I get asked, almost everyday, to comment on discipline issues. Generally speaking, I have two answers:
1. “Whatever you do, be consistent.”
2. “Read the discipline position paper I wrote for the Canadian Pediatric Society (see www.caringforkids.cps.ca).”
This paper has many good ideas for disciplining your children. Keep in mind, though, that the paper has been edited by peers. So, it doesn’t entirely reflect my own views (which tend to be a little less liberal than the Canadian Pediatric Society’s with regard to the controversy of spanking). A number of pediatricians in the Canadian Pediatric Society would love to have spanking completely banned; but, given the apparent increase in child abuse since the anti-spanking law was put in place in Sweden, I believe that such a decision has no merit.
There’s also another great resource available on the topic of discipline. I recently reviewed a wonderful book for the Canadian Pediatric Society. It was written by Dr. Kevin Lehman and it’s titled “Making Children Mind without Losing Yours”. Dr. Lehman offers many ideas on how to discipline children safely and well; thus, helping parents ultimately raise healthy adults. One line, in particular, jumped out at me: “Discipline is how you live your life”.
In addition, Dr. Lehman makes suggestions on how to:
§ foil finicky eaters
§ teach responsibility through a method he calls “reality discipline”
§ get kids to do what you want them to do
§ set suitable allowances
§ get the parent back in the driver’s seat
Dr Lehman is an internationally known psychologist who lives in Tucson. He has appeared on several radio and TV shows and, in my experience, his communications are agile, peppered with honest humor and easy to understand.
For more information see his web sites:
About Dr. Peter Nieman
Dr. Peter Nieman has been practicing as a specialist with children for more than twenty years and has been a pediatrician in Alberta since 1987. In addition to his medical experience, he is also a parent who recognizes the challenges of raising healthy children.
Dr. Peter Nieman obtained his undergraduate degree at Tygerberg Hospital in Capetown, South Africa in 1979. He moved to Calgary in 1983 and completed his residency at Alberta Children's Hospital. In 1987, Dr. Nieman became a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (Pediatrics).
Dr. Peter Nieman is a pediatrician at Alberta Children’s Hospital and Rockyview General Hospital, as well as a member of the Alberta Pediatric Association, the Canadian Pediatric Society and the American Academy of Pediatrics. He currently serves on the National Advisory Committee on Physical Activity and Healthy Active Living for Children and Youth and the Canadian Pediatric Society's Psychosocial Committee. He has been part of the Obesity Management and Prevention Committee of the Alberta Medical Association and sat on the Academic Advisory Board of the National Foundation for Family Research and Education. Dr. Nieman teaches as a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Calgary and is a regular medical contributor to newspapers and radio and television broadcasts.
Dr. Peter Nieman has completed 38 marathons, including two Boston Marathons. Dr. Nieman is also Husband and father of four young children.
Dr. Nieman runs HealthyKids.ca, an online service dedicated to helping concerned parents raise healthy children. DLTK visitors are entitled to a complimentary one-year subscription to HealthyKids.ca by using the coupon code: DLTK.