Tips For Handling Boys: Discipline Without Dictatorship

All boys need boundaries to help them control and manage their behavior and to fit into a family or school framework of rules. Boundaries and rules help to keep boys safe, to fit in with and be acceptable to others, to show that you care about what happens to them and get you involved in their world.

If you are a parent:

* Be clear and prioritize; don’t have too many rules and keep them simple
* Be firm – but also friendly and loving; stick to your rules, nine times out of ten, but be flexible when it really matters to a boy
* Be fair – because this is the best way to stop your son from becoming resentful
* Be consistent: try to respond in the same way each time and get your partner to do the same
* Keep your love constant: don’t blow hot and cold
* Set a good example: behave as you expect him to behave

If you are a teacher:

* Dictatorship no longer works in the classroom (if it ever did); barrack-style orders and insults are no longer acceptable
* As with parents, be clear, be firm, be fair, be consistent, be fun and be flexible, giving reasons whenever you adapt or relax the rules
* Plan for variety and use different teaching styles to engage all students naturally
* High expectations, clear rules and goals, suitably paced and engaging work, occasional humor and unfailing respect, are far more effective than threats, sarcasm or ridicule

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