Last week NFL player Adrian Peterson turned himself in on charges of child abuse after a session of disciplining his 4-year-old son left cuts, welts and bruises on the boy's body. The gruesome incident sparked a national debate about whether or not it's ever OK for a parent to hit a child. Research shows the answer is a resounding "No!"
I have survived two decades of parenting by talking to myself. My incantations are my alter ego reminding me to put things in perspective, step back and take a breath and that things will probably be okay. So while the mom voice in my head is shrieking, at myself or my kids, there is a calmer quieter voice reminding me to count to 10 before I speak.
It requires a shift in thinking. Once you realize that criticizing, accusing, punishing or humiliating your child does not create a collaborative atmosphere, does not bring your child closer to you in a shared purpose, and instead focuses attention away from solving the problem, you will begin to enforce your rules in a far more constructive way.