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Bonnie, Psychologist
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 2189
Experience:  and pediatric nurse practitioner with 30 years of experience counseling parents.
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can you suggest an appropriate discipline for a child who is

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can you suggest an appropriate discipline for a child who is beligerent and does not respond to spanking. I feel like the child ends up getting her way because spanking only leads to a bigger tantrum

Hello and thank you for consulting JA,

How old is the child?



Hello again,

Here is my responses without knowing age....If child is very young it may be a little different.


Aggression and non-compliance in a child are known as Oppositional Defiant Disorder if the behavior is present in all environments ( care/home and community). Generally the defiant child is angry, resentful or jealous. The recommendations are 3-fold:


  1. Special alone time with a parent often-20-30 minutes playing together;.
  2. Positive Discipline - that is, praising when they are being good;
  3. Behavior Management Strategies - time out, etc (which you have tried)


If the behavior does not improve with these strategies, it may be necessary to get an child therapist involved to work on the proper expression of anger.


A very good book is call Your Defiant Child by Russell Barkley (available on Amazon) or any bookstore.


Another method of discipline I would like to recommend is called Token Economy: Please do a computer search to find out more about this method.


I hope this helps and good luck

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Customer: replied 5 years ago.
the child is almost 3

Okay, the answer is the same except that the discipline technique at this age may be

Prevention: intervene before she becomes overtired or hungry. Do not expect too much if she has been fatigued through overstimulation.




Removal and Distraction: take her away from the situation and distract her with another activitiy. This is not spoiling or giving in but just removing the opportunity for aggression or not listening. The token economy can be introduced at about 5.

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