Articles are available for reprint as long as the author is acknowledged: Domenick J. Maglio Ph.D.

Tuesday, April 04, 2017


By Domenick J. Maglio PhD. Traditional Realist

Raising a child in the modern world is more and more complex. A toddler quickly accumulates toys, electronic gadgets and whatever else is deemed important by the parents. They are constantly showered with praise for almost any behavior that is not blatantly destructive. Children are led to believe they are smarter and at least as powerful as the parents.

Modern youngsters are not taught to follow commands. Instead they question almost everything and negotiate any directives. These children learn if they persist in their battles with parents they will eventually forget and give up their position so the child wins by default.

A persistent problem that is not resolved in a timely manner requires a discussion between the parents. They need to develop a game plan that both parents have invested in and agreed to. This way each adult can support rather than undermine the strategy. Unity between parents is essential to decisively win the battle.

The parents should sit down with the child and explain to him the negative consequences of continuously disruptive behavior. Immediately following, the child should be told of the positive one if they comply with the parent’s directive. The child should understand that a negative consequence will bring the reduction or elimination of an already existing privilege while the positive will bring a greater privilege or granting of a new one. During this meeting the child should respond without resentment or negative attitude to what is being said.

This process will help the child become more aware of their actions and the parent’s reactions. The child becomes more accountable for his own behavior rather than the parent becoming the controlling meanie or bad guy for arbitrarily imposing a punishment. Using this method, the child can only blame himself for receiving any of the negative consequences.

A devastating and very common mistake that parents make is not following through with either consequence after things settle down. Many modern parents just forget or ignore giving the promised consequences. Most modern parents are happy and satisfied that the child appears to be compliant at that moment and do not want to rile things up again or “rock the boat.” Yet these parents lose their future credibility for discipline.

When the parent’s follow through with their child’s consequences it shows they are serious and purposeful. However, when the parent does not, the child begins to realize his parent’s lengthy lectures are only a lot of hot air. When the parents are inconsistent in keeping their word, the child also begins to disregard what they are saying. The parents are now in a position of weakness. Without appropriate consequences there will be no teeth in the next directive or any sort of consequence for the child’s misbehavior.

The credibility of even the parent’s facial expressions adds power to the discipline of anyone. The use of an intense stare, “the evil eye” by an authority figure on a misbehaving child has been used over centuries to get a youngster’s attention. Almost automatically the child knows that he needs to change his behavior without a word being spoken. The child actually perceives the intensity and strength of character of the person in charge by their body language and does what is indicated.

The parents should be wise enough to understand that if they do not stick to their guns by doing what they say or express by their body language what they will do, their weapon will become powerless and worthless. This only emphasizes that the authority figure is a joke.

When the parents follow through on what they say, the child develops respect for the parent’s words and power. The child realizes that when the parent speaks they better listen carefully and consider the consequences. They know that they will eventually experience the reward or punishment.

When parents do not do what they indicated they would with consequences, they are undermining their power. The child learns there will be no advantage to listening and following what his parents say.

Domenick Maglio, PhD. is a columnist carried by various newspapers, an author of several books and owner/director of Wider Horizons School, a college prep program. Dr. Maglio is an author of weekly newspaper articles, INVASION WITHIN  and a new just published book, entitled, IN CHARGE PARENTING In a PC World. You can visit Dr. Maglio at


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