Author: Dr. Monica Wonnacott


Children need to learn boundaries and to be taught by their parents. Discipline is a form of teaching, but spanking or hitting children does not teach children what parents think it does. Well-meaning parents tell me all the time, “…but I don’t hurt my child,” or “…but it’s the only way to get my child’s attention,” or “… I was spanked and I turned out just fine.” While those parents may be right, spanking or hitting will ultimately result in a negative outcome. It is never the answer. In case you can’t tell, it is a topic that I...

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I am a big believer in allowing children to suffer the natural consequences of their actions or decisions as a method of discipline or teaching. In short, you are allowing your child to see what will happen if he or she misbehaves. You then can give a short explanation to teach and reinforce what happened as a consequence, but do not swoop in and fix it for your child. Here are a few examples: Your child throws a toy and it breaks. You respond by calmly and simply stating to your child, “You threw your toy and broke it,...

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The concept behind taking away privileges as a method of discipline is that you are taking away something that the child wants or will miss as a result of misbehaving. This is a method that can work very effectively in all age groups, if done right. There are a few pointers to making this an effective method of teaching. Follow through. Do not take away a privilege you are not willing to follow through on. For example, don’t tell your child that you are going to take away watching TV for the rest of the day and then allow...

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You work hard all day; do not be a slave to your children. Insist on having your child/children help clean up. Not only is it helpful, but it also helps set a tone for the rest of your child’s life. A child who knows how to keep things clean and orderly becomes an adult who knows how to keep things clean and orderly. Here are a few tips: Resist the urge to “just do it yourself,” or wait until the kids are in bed. I know, especially when they are young, that it can take ten times longer to...

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Your child’s foot can grow a size or two in just 6 months. Here are a few tips to save you time and money when it comes to getting shoes for your child. Choose the right size. The old trick that my mom used to “allow for a finger’s width worth of growth” measured from the longest toe to the end of the toe box is actually good advice – nicely done, mom; nicely done. A tight shoe can lead to blisters or ingrown toenails, whereas a shoe that is too large will allow for too much movement and...

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Dr. Monica Wonnacott

I'm a pediatrician and a mom. is my blog where parents can get the straight scoop on their child's health, largely based on my experience in the office and at home. I don't diagnose on the site, so please don't ask. These are just my opinions. Use this site as a resource. And trust your parent gut.

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