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Prompted by a call from a disgruntled friend who had a nightmare weekend out of town with an unruly young child (whose parents did not one thing to discipline her antagonistic and abusive behavior), I recently wrote an article about parents who don’t say “no” to their kids. I quickly realized what a contentious subject I hit on. It’s no surprise that people who read and comment on parenting articles have strong opinions; raising children is such a personal and all-encompassing experience. If one dares to suggest that what you’re doing is “wrong,” it is only natural to get defensive. It can feel as if someone is directly criticizing your child, whom you love more than anything. No parent wants that.
I felt that it would only be responsible of me as a parenting writer (and as a parent, more importantly) to look into the other side of the “no” debate. I started reading about positive discipline (which is directly opposed to any form of punishment in a child’s early years) to understand what it is, and if and how it can actually be helpful or useful, even to someone who isn’t averse to using the word “no” with my toddler.
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