Hi Cathy, I have been reading your blog and came across the one about the smacking ban. I posted a while back that I was going to stop giving my three girls light smacks and I haven’t smacked them since. However I was wondering what you would suggest when taking away privileges doesn’t work? My children don’t seem to care about this, especially my 4 year old, Katie. She understands why she is being told off but when I take away something e.g. TV time the following day she doesn’t make the connection. This sparks off a tantrum. Also, taking away TV time punishes my other children who can’t watch the TV either because Katie would be able to watch it. I was wondering what you suggest?
CG: Hi Nikki, Well done for not smacking. I have a few suggestions regarding your daughter’s behaviour.  Have you tried rewarding her good behaviour? It may seem obvious, but so often bad behaviour is attention seeking which works because we react to negative behaviour and tend to assume good behaviour. That is okay – good behaviour should be the base line, but if a child is going through a particularly challenging time it is worth placing emphasis on the good behaviour as well as sanctioning the negative. The reward doesn’t have to be much, just a simple ‘Well done! Good girl,’ is enough. And don’t forget to praise your other children as well or you’ll have them playing up. Make sure sanctions are immediate and appropriate. Stopping something the same day is far better than the following day if at all possible. If it has to be the following day then tell the child why they are losing the treat, explain it was because of their unacceptable behaviour the day before. Obviously other children in the family should not be punished because one sibling has done wrong, so if you are using withdrawal of television as the sanction then the child who is being sanctioned should be withdrawn to another room, while the other siblings watch television. It made seem harsh but it is unfair to punish all siblings because one has done wrong; the children will see it is unfair as well. Let me know how you get on. Best Wishes, Cathy