Discipline and Childhood

Child discipline is one of the most widely sought out, misunderstood, and hotly contested topics in parenting. Most parents and other caregivers have received or sought advice from health-care providers, family members, religious leaders, books, social media, and other sources on the best and most effective strategies to discipline children and respond to parent–child conflict. Approaches to discipline reflect particular theoretical perspectives, as well as scientific developments, which have evolved substantially over time. For example, a large and growing body of research demonstrates that physical punishment is detrimental to children’s development and to parent–child relationships. Advancements in the neurosciences and the social sciences, along with increasing global recognition of children’s fundamental human rights, have contributed to new conceptualizations of discipline.

Although most contemporary disciplinary approaches ...

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