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How far should I go to make my daughter feel beautiful? She wants to change her hair color using a permanent hair dye. At what age should I allow this?
She can color her hair the day she moves out and gets her own place.
Seriously, there’s no reason for a young girl to change her hair color. Beauty is, and always has been, in the eye of the beholder. If your daughter doesn’t find her own hair beautiful, coloring it will offer at best a temporary solution.
People who need big changes or new toys to be happy will always be in the market for more of those toys. Your daughter won’t find her happiness in a bottle of hair dye. Or the next one, or the next one. Focus instead on reminding her how beautiful she is right now. The sooner she becomes content with the way God made her, the easier it will be for her to embark on, say, another 70 years of happiness. The key to happiness isn’t getting more, it’s wanting less. Encourage her, don’t enable her.
I have a 4-year-old son. Over the past couple of months, he has become more and more difficult to deal with. He screams, cries, and throws tantrums and has on occasion even resorted to throwing his toys at me or spitting in my face when he doesn’t get his way. His father’s parents believe in spanking as a means of discipline. I would like to know if anyone has any real opinions as to whether or not this method might help to improve his behavior and discipline him, or if it will only make things worse.
Spanking works for most children. Then again, so do other punishments.
I find your use of the word “discipline” interesting. Consider the root meaning of that word. Discipline is systematic instruction used to train people to act according to rules. Spanking, like grounding or restriction of privileges, is just one disciplinary tool.
To control your son’s conduct, start with a steady hand. Similar conduct warrants a similar punishment every time. Even if the grandparents are over, even if it’s his birthday. Every. Single. Time. With that kind of consistency, you enforce discipline by example. Think of punishments like exercise. You can get in shape by swimming, running, biking, or lifting weights. Any of those strategies will work if you do them regularly, yet none will work if you use a haphazard approach.
Once you make up your mind to be consistent, then select punishments that work for your son. Not my son or your neighbor’s son, or even for your grandparents’ children. This is about your son, and him alone. If, faced with the prospect of losing desserts for a week, your son still disobeys, then try different restrictions until you find one he cares about. If timeouts don’t work, stop using them even if your favorite TV psychologist swears by them.
And that is where spanking comes in. Spanking, as a punishment, works for a lot of kids. If administered as part of a strong system of discipline, corporal punishment can help control your son’s conduct. Realize that the goal of punishments is to both penalize past conduct and deter future conduct. Use punishments that your son finds unpleasant enough to cause him to rethink his actions.
I’ll close with one warning. Spanking generally works, but it’s too much for small offenses. Save it for major misconduct. The best disciplinary systems allow for some flexibility on the part of the instructor (parent). If the infraction warrants a Saturday of housework rather than reading comic books, then write out a list of chores. If a spanking is called for, then administer it promptly and let the boy know that he can stop the spankings by changing his conduct.
And if he changes his conduct, praise him for his wisdom and obedience.
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