As parents, loving our babies is the easy part. But as our little ones grow, there comes a time when we must set boundaries. Most of these "rules" are established to ensure our children remain safe. For example: “Please don’t run into the street" and "We don't hit people." So how do we set these boundaries? Plenty of folks want to offer their thoughts on the subject, to be sure, but honestly? For me, at least, there are so many pieces of child discipline advice I’m happy I’ve ignored over the years. For the most part, it's the advice that, via numerous studies, causes more harm than good, or that simply wouldn’t work for my particular child.
I have a toddler at the moment, and if you know anything about toddlers, you know they are always ready to explore and experiment. I do my best to keep my home as kid-friendly as possible. I have covers on all the electrical outlets and 95 percent of our furniture is without sharp edges. My partner and I don’t have any breakables that are within our son’s reach. We keep chemicals and other adult items out of reach. But our kid still crosses the line sometimes. He wants to hit me when he’s angry, or he wants to run around during meal times and barely eat. He wants to jump off furniture that isn’t all that safe to jump off of. Like, ever. So I set boundaries. I discipline by asking him to stop his behavior. I explain why he shouldn’t do "this" because "that" will happen. I listen to him explain how it makes him feel. If he gets out of hand, he gets to have some quiet time in his room (which might be more like “scream and cry by myself in my room for five minutes and then suddenly realize life isn’t so bad and proceed to play with my toys” time). It’s what works for us, and that's really all there is to it.
I don’t believe in authoritarian parenting because I’ve experienced the damage it can do, but most of the advice I’ve received is in line with this particular parenting philosophy. This is why I’ve chosen to ignore all the “advice” usually thrown my way when it concerns disciplining my child, including the following: