Carrot or Stick?

I’ve just finished watching Carrot or Stick ? A Horizon Guide to Raising Kids.  This was an interesting insight into Horizon Documentaries about Child Development spanning from the 1960’s to the present day.

It covers a variety of topics including attachment theory, autism, ADHD, traditional versus progressive classrooms, Piaget and behaviour management. Although there was nothing new in there, for those interested in child development it was an interesting reminder of some of the key theories from the last 40 years and their impact on parenting and education.

The programme raises debates as to whether we can love our children too much, pandering to their every whim and not giving them sufficient discipline.  It also raised questions as to how much and what sort of discipline is best for children.

The general and probably obvious conclusion is that we need a bit of both.  I think however we all need to be realistic as parents – yes I give in a little too often to my children, not because I don’t think they will love me if I don’t,  but because I don’t have the energy to deal with the uproar it will cause if I say no.  Sometimes I think I’m a little too hard on them. There are things I could do better but on the whole I do my best within the constraints of dealing with 3 children and life in general.  Do what comes naturally and your kids will probably turn out ok.


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